Newly-appointed Albury Thunder coach Tuki Jackson is excited for the next chapter in his life.
The former Yanco-Wamoon co-coach had his opening training session with the playing group at Greenfield Park on Thursday night and made a strong first impression.
“It was good. There are always nerves when you got to a new club for the first time, but I was excited as well,” Jackson said.
“I enjoyed it and it was finally good to meet some of the sponsors and the board and put some names to faces.”
Jackson, along with Glenn Dumbrell, took Yanco-Wamoon to the brink of the grand final this season, but he admitted it was a surprise to be given the top job.
“I’ve learnt a lot and I didn’t expect myself to coach when I moved halfway through the season last year,” he said.
“I was only thinking I would stay at the Hawks for that season and move back to Sydney.
“We were just unfortunate to miss out in the finals, we had chances at the big stage.”
Jackson said he hasn’t set any great expectations for next season just yet.
“I’ll worry about pre-season and getting our structure right first before I do anything else,” he said.
“I will have Christmas and New Year with my family in Sydney and hopefully have a house in the first week of January and get straight into it.”
Thunder president Rick O’Connell was very impressed with Jackson’s first appearance.
“Everything went really well, he introduced himself to the players and supporters,” O’Connell said.
“He’ll have no trouble whatsoever settling in.”
The club was also awarded a $4000 Holden Home Ground Grant, presented by McRae Motors, which will be put towards purchasing club attire and equipment for the Thunder disability team that was established this year.
O’Connell said there are nine or 10 players already interested in playing in 2017.
“We’re hoping a few other clubs in Group 9 will get behind it next year and bring teams down for a game,” he said.