SIMPSON will continue with co-coaches in season 2020 after recently announcing Nick Harding will join Tom Leishman in the role.
Harding, the club’s star full forward, spent this season as an assistant coach under Leishman and outgoing mentor Daniel Razga.
He said he was now ready to step up into a head coaching role at senior level having previously guided the club’s junior sides.
“Obviously it was something I wanted to do, maybe not quite so early, but with Daniel and Thomas, they helped me through the start of the year and it just grew on me a lot,” Harding said.
“When we sat down and talked about it, I couldn’t wait to put my hand up and jump right into it.”
Harding said he had fresh ideas and drills he wanted to bring to the club having previously spent time with Cobden in the Hampden league.
He said both he and Leishman know there are areas the club needed to improve if it was to stride forward next year.
“We’ve obviously got different ideas but as long as we agree on them and are on the same page (that’s the main thing),” Harding said.
“We’ve got some things we’ve got to change but we know that as coaches and we’re just looking forward to doing them and then we’ll look at recruiting and getting into it next year.”
Leishman said he was looking forward to working with Harding after he revealed Razga took a step back during the season.
He said the Geelong-based Razga took on a new work opportunity that saw him work in Melbourne regularly, which restricted his ability to be around the club during the week.
Leishman said the club opted to keep Razga’s decision “in-house”, with Harding taking on some of the responsibility in Razga’s absence.
“It wasn’t a big issue, he still coached on Saturdays but he just didn’t get down during the week,” Leishman said.
“Nick didn’t have to step up but he really did, he took it in his stride and he took a lot of trainings and took a lot of pre-game talks as well when he had the chance.
“He’s worked really well, the second half has been really enjoyable with him and it’s worked smoothly.
“I’m pretty excited to do it with Nick, he’s shown a lot of interest this year and for the two of us to do it together, I think it will run a lot smoother than it has been.”
Season 2020 will be Leishman’s fourth term at the helm of the club, but said it was not a decision he took lightly.
He said it was not until late this season that he decided he wanted to continue in the role, but feels refreshed and ready to give it another crack.
“I was a bit undecided with it throughout the year because it’s a big job and it takes up a lot of time,” Leishman said.
“But towards the end of the year and just seeing how well Nick and I worked together, I really got that urge and that passion to do it again next season.
“We had a few talks over a couple of weeks and came to the conclusion that we think we’d be a pretty good fit to do it together.
“I’m pretty excited actually and probably rejuvenated to go again.”