Wangaratta Magpies stick with Knobel

Wangaratta Magpies' coach Mark Knobel
Wangaratta Magpies' coach Mark Knobel

WANGARATTA has re-appointed Mark Knobel as coach.

Knobel was locked in to lead the Pies for a third straight year when given the formal nod at a committee meeting this week.

Club president Col McClounan said the board hadn’t hesitated to sign Knobel, despite the Pies looking set to miss the finals for a third season running.

“We are happy with how we are progressing as a club,” McClounan said.

“Mark’s preparation and planning has been fantastic — as good as I’ve seen.

“We think our young group will improve again next year and we’re keen to keep Mark working with them.

“We had an atrocious run with injury early but Mark has been really committed to the place.

“He does the work and is keen to keep the club moving forward.”

Knobel moved to Wang- aratta from Albury in June and told The Border Mail recently he hoped to have a deal done before the end of the season.

McClounan said while the club would bring in some fresh faces, it would largely keep the faith with the club’s young talent.

“We have won a couple of thirds premierships over the past few years and those guys are starting to come through now,” McClounan said.

“We certainly have a few gaps that need filling. We are aware of what they are and will obviously try to fill them.

“We’re keen to maintain where we are at, though, in terms of yearly spend.”

Simon Patterson has also been re-appointed the reserves coach.

“He has done a terrific job as a playing coach,” McClounan said.

“We’re very happy to have both coaches in place before the end of the season.”

Knobel replaced two-time premiership captain Judd Porter as coach after the 2012 season, with Porter staying at Norm Minns Oval as a player.

Wangaratta travels to Birallee Park to tackle the struggling Wodonga Raiders on Saturday and will jump into the top-five if arch rival Wangaratta Rovers loses at home to Myrtleford.