Marc Almond’s rise to Corowa-Rutherglen coach has been more than 25 years in the making.
“When I was in the juniors at Mulwala and Peter (Steak) Seymour was coaching the seniors, after games we’d go home, and I was best mates with his son, I’d sit up until midnight, talking about why they lost or why they won and how did you did this,” he said.
“That was from nine, 10, 11 onwards, so from 12 years old it’s been a dream to coach Ovens and Murray footy.”
The 38-year-old played 60-odd senior games at both Yarrawonga and Lavington, where he played with and then assisted Tim Sanson.
“’Timber’ was just an amazing person to be under to show how to build personal relationships and how to get everyone in the same direction,” he said.
“He had an amazing ability to get everyone on the bus and the other main thing is be prepared better than anyone else.”
Almond says his immediate priority is retaining the Roos’ young list.
“And show the current players that there’s going to be an environment where they’re going to grow,” he said.
“We want to bring in guys who may have lacked opportunity at their current clubs in the Ovens and Murray or guys who are in the bush who want to take that next step.
“But there’s an element that we need to bring in some quality too.
“Recruiting to me isn’t a year-to-year thing, it’s a lifetime issue.
“I’ve been ringing people this week that I’ve been ringing every year for the last 10 years and touching base throughout each year.”
Almond will take over the Roos at a time of unique change.
Their proposed alignment with Hume League club CDHBU is gaining momentum, with the most significant plan of dropping the reserves.
“If I was to put my coaching hat on, ideally, you want a reserves side because it just makes everything a bit more smooth sailing,” Almond said.
“But I’ve said openly this is the way football’s going to go in this area.
“If clubs don’t merge or do an alignment-type scenario, it’s not sustainable for some clubs.”
In his coaching career, Almond has experienced the high of a premiership at Howlong in 2010 and the low of a mid-season exit at Dederang Mount Beauty.
“Howlong was a successful club and it was great they gave you the opportunity because I could do what I loved doing in an environment that they knew what success looked like,” he said.
“The first couple of years at Dederang were really good, but there was a different direction they were going and it didn’t align with my values, what I hold dear, but I look on that as a learning experience.”