Jimmy Bell counts on depth to take Wodonga Diamonds back-to-back

JIMMY Bell will look to lead Wodonga Diamonds to back-to-back Cup and league titles.

The former Englishman was re-appointed last week after his first year in charge saw the red and whites lose only two games — one to Wangaratta in the home-and-away season and the other in a semi-final of the NSW champion of champions.

They were winners of the league title despite losing points for playing an ineligible player and won a controversial Cup final against Myrtleford.

But Bell expects to have a very different look squad next year.

He says talented youngsters may fill the void left by retirements and player movements.

“There is plenty of talk out there about clubs recruiting players from outside the league, some from overseas,” Bell said.

“But we have such great depth in the juniors and lower senior grades that I’m not sure that’s he right direction for this club.

“The message I’m pushing is that if you are committed, prepared to put the effort in and have the right attitude you will get your chance to play senior football.”

Joining Bell next year are high calibre player/coaches Ian Johnson and Josh Bowman.

Club president Paul Millynn said the pair would work with Bell and some of the junior teams.

“Ian had played in the Blue Square Premier League in UK and has just re-located to Wodonga for work,” he said.

“Josh is a senior qualified coach and has played Queensland premier league and an Australia Defence force Team on a tour of the UK.

“We have been club champions for eight of the past nine years and that is a reflection of our dedication to junior development.

“We never set out to win games at all costs, winning is part of development strategy of developing better coaches and players.”

Bell said he doesn’t feel added pressure after his breakout year.

“The pressure is on the other clubs to catch up but I expect they will,” he said.

Tony Cigana and Caron Stiler will again coach Diamonds women’s teams.

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