MARC Greig returned to his home town of Horsham for the first time in his new role as the Greater Western Rebels senior coach on Monday evening to put Wimmera hopefuls through their paces.
He said he had had a busy month since taking over the role which places him at the forefront of football development in the region.
“I’ve met nearly 200 young fellers in the other three regions already,” he said.
“I’ll meet another 40 or 50 tonight and then at Camperdown there will be another 40 or 50 there.
“It’s just getting to know the names and asking questions of the regional coaches because they are talking and seeing the players twice a week at the moment.”
He said it was exciting to be able to return to the Wimmera in his new role.
“I’ve always followed the Wimmera and Horsham guys over the years since I’ve been down in Ballarat, to actually be part of it now is pretty exciting,” he said.
“We’ll see what the boys dish up and hopefully they’ve already made a good start over the first two weeks.”
Greig said he wanted to run through the basics with the different groups in the region.
“It’s a little bit different to country footy where you might be doing some game-plan stuff,” he said.
“Our initial goal pre-Christmas is to develop the kids in a few areas.”
Decision making under pressure, kicking, winning one-on-one balls and the use of speed were key focuses for Greig and his team of regional coaches.
“It sounds basic but it doesn’t matter how good of a junior you have to be a pretty good kick to go to the next level,” he said.
“They are a few of the focus areas that I’ve come up with after a few meetings with some of the recruiters and people like that who go on to draft the kids. And if they don’t get drafted we still want them to be as good as they can be by the end of the program.”
The group will continue to train before practice games in February will lead to tough decisions being made.
“They’ll all get the chance to play in at least two games to put their best foot forward,” Greig said.
“Trying to get that down to just 45 on the Rebels list for will be challenging and something I’ve never done before in that capacity. Unfortunately we’ll break kids hearts but that’s footy and that’s the program.”
The Wimmera was represented by nine players in the 2017 squad with five bottom-age players a good chance of winning their place again.
“We like to think that the pre-Christmas block and when they come back after will still benefit the kids that do miss out,” Greig said.