Murray United FC mentor Elliot Jones has looked in his backyard in appointing his senior assistant coaches.
Jones’s older brother Mitch and another former Albury United team-mate in Matt Campbell will work under the second-year coach as he strives to make up for a disappointing year.
“Mitch played well over 300 games of first grade and kicked 200 or 300 goals, so what he brings is he has a real knowledge in that attacking third of the field,” Elliot Jones said.
“It was well-documented last season that we didn’t score enough goals and it would be silly of me not to tap into those areas.
“I also played a lot of football with Matt and he was my first grade captain for years, but he’s also coached me.
“He’s extremely competitive, he’s very analytical and he has a great knowledge and feel for the game as it unfolds, he’s very measured in his approach.
“The other thing that stands out is they’re not just going to agree with me.
“I didn’t want to be surrounded by guys that were just going to agree with my opinions, they’ll have their own opinions and they won’t be frightened to challenge me.”
The trio played in Albury-Wodonga Football Association league (six) and Cup (six) titles.
“They know what success looks like and that’s what we’re trying to reach here at Murray,” Jones said.
And Murray will also have another Albury United element in its coaching ranks with David Smith leading the under 20s.
“Dave, in my opinion, is one of the best development coaches going around and I’ve been coached by him,” Jones said.
“He’s a real talent with his coaching and development of players and we’re thrilled to have Dave.”
Murray is looking to move away from the ‘yo-yo’ inconsistency of its first four years in NPL 2, with an outstanding fifth place finish in 2017 followed by ninth last season.
“Absolutely, you need a bit of luck, I’ve never seen anything like it last season with our run of injuries,” he said.
Meanwhile, Murray has signed long-time Twin City Wanderers star Josh Zito.
“He’s been on our radar for a couple of years,” Jones said.
“I think he’s really crying out for a challenge like this league and he’s already shown in one practice game, he’s already up to the level.
“He’s a very tidy player and he’s very hard at the contest, he loves to tackle and he makes really good decisions under pressure.”
He’s the second AWFA star to sign in recent weeks after Myrtleford’s boom Englishman Tom Youngs.
Meanwhile, Jones says the club will announce more profile signings prior to Christmas.
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