By Jackson Russell
Lancefield Football Netball Club is hoping the return of a home grown talent will kick start the club’s rebuilding efforts in the 2020 Riddell District Football Netball League season.
Tom Waters is returning to the club as senior football coach after nine years abroad, playing with Gisborne and Macedon.
Waters played in the club’s last premiership in 2009, bookending the historic season with Bowen Medals in 2008 and 2010.
Waters said he always wanted to come home to Lancefield at some stage.
“This is where I live and I always said I would come back. I’ve had a pretty good run with footy, I’ve been pretty lucky so I just want to give something back,” he said.
“There are a lot of boys here that I coached when they were 18 in my last year here that are now senior footballers. I’d love to help them out and work with them all again,” he said.
Waters brings plenty of experience to the Tigers, having played in the Victoria Country team twice during his tenure with Gisborne and being an assistant coach in Macedon’s 2017 RDFNL premiership.
He plans to also take the field as a playing coach before easing into a full-time coaching role in the future.
Outgoing senior coach Chris Collins said it’s huge to have Waters back at Lancefield Park.
“We sat down as a club and came up with a list of about 30 players and Tom was number one on that,” he said.
“We see Tom as a local guy and obviously he’s had a huge part in our club’s previous success so to have him back is massive for us and it’s got a great buzz already happening around there.
“There are a lot of guys that have moved on over the years that want to come back and play now that Tom’s involved again so the future’s really bright for having him around again.”
The wheels started turning on the move during the Tigers’ 2009 premiership reunion earlier in the season.
“A few of the boys called me the next day and we started to plan it then. From that moment on, as much as I tried to deny it, I was checking out of Macedon and already starting to invest in here,” Waters said.
Waters said he just wants to keep building on all the hard work Collins put in over the last two seasons.
“It was looking in a pretty bad way for a while there so Collo’s done the hard work. I’m just now hopefully going to bring some experience and some things that I’ve learned in my football career and help get the club up the ladder and look forward to some success coming soon,” he said.