BFL: Shane Hutchinson swanning around with coach role

WORK IN PROGRESS: New Ballarat Swans assistant coach Shane Hutchinson with the high performance squad at pre-season training last night. Picture: Andrew KellyNEW club. New role. Shane Hutchinson is relishing his return to the Ballarat Football League.Pre-season training has been hectic for Hutchinson as he settles into life as assistant coach for the Ballarat Swans.He also shares management for the Swans’ high performance squad _ fine-tuning the skills and fitness of the club’s up-and-coming footballers.The chance to develop his coaching trade was what enticed Hutchinson to the Swans rather than returning to his former BFL club East Point.Hutchinson played with East Point before moving to Warrack Eagles in the Wimmera league.Unfortunately he lasted just three quarters, suffering a season-ending knee injury on debut.”That (being sidelined) was frustrating, but I suppose it made me keen for getting back in the game, made me realise how much football meant to me,” Hutchinson said.”Going to Ballarat was more about coaching under two of the best in Shaun O’Loughlin and John Northey, and hopefully learn something off them for when I’m no longer playing.”The former star East Point on-baller is on track to begin running and full skills work after Christmas and is likely to join the Swans on field in late May/early June.Hutchinson said the full knee reconstruction offered a new perspective and renewed hunger for the game.He has played with North Ballarat in the VFL (41 senior games in 2001 and 2004-05) and and South Adelaide in the SANFL, and is not new to the coaching caper, having served as an assistant coach at the Kangaroos before joining the Warrack Eagles.Now, in his mid-20s, Hutchinson was keen to step his coaching up a notch.”It’s been really good, busy but good,” Hutchinson said.”At Ballarat I have a more active coaching role, especially being in charge of the youngsters and it’s really exciting.”Injury allowed the Ballarat-based Hutchinson to keep an interested watch on the RegionalOne BFL this season.He hoped to help guide the Swans back to the premiership spoils they enjoyed in 2008 and, after one year out of the league, Hutchinson looked forward to seeing how much had changed.”It’ll be interesting to see how much the competition will improve,” Hutchinson said.”I think the standard will kick up this year with the strong recruiting all clubs have done.”
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