Crib Point has taken a significant step to becoming a competitive force again in the MPNFL after the appointment of the well-respected Steve Hamill to the senior coaching role.
The Hastings premiership captain-coach of 1995 has built an extensive leadership portfolio, leading Dromana and Tooradin-Dalmore to finals campaigns after his first-year success with the Blues.
Hamill was a gun player, having captained Frankston VFA for three years from 1992 before embarking on a successful coaching career.
The 1996 MPNFL Interleague captain-coach said he was excited to return to a senior role after being a line coach at Dromana in 2016.
The 52-year-old said the time was now right to recommit to the rigours of senior coaching and trying to lift the Magpies from the bottom rung of the MPNFL Division Two ladder.
“It’s all come about pretty quickly to be honest, but I’m really excited by the challenge and can’t wait to get in and get the hands dirty,” Hamill said.
“Football has always been a big part of who I am, but I’ve taken a step back in recent years to enjoy my three teenagers coming through.”
Steve’s son Will was vice-captain of the drought-breaking Dandenong Stingrays TAC Cup premiership this year and is a legitimate hope of being picked up at the AFL National Draft on Thursday 22 November.
Despite not occupying a senior coaching role the new Magpies coach has kept a close eye on the local football scene in recent times and knows what is required to return the Magpies to past glories.
“It’s no secret that the club has hit a bit of a low point, on-field in recent times, but the club has a fantastic committee, dedicated club people who will do anything to see this club succeed,” Hamill said.
“My job is to bring a winning culture to the club, to combine the talented junior base we have with some experienced players and build a team that goes out each week to win. Initially we might face some tough times, but I can’t see the point in going into a game of footy and not expecting to win.”
Hamill said his former club Dromana, who won the 2018 MPNFL Division Two premiership, was a great example of how a young group can stick together and taste success.
“Our under 19s played finals this year and developing that junior base will be a high priority,” he said.
“Dromana brought in some players to top up, but players like Geurts, Quigley and Waugh are players that have come through their system and are now premiership players. We have some terrific juniors and Crib Point played in a grand final in 2014, that’s not that long ago, so I’m confident we can turn things around.”
The new Magpies mentor said there were some great opportunities for on and off-field leaders to make a huge difference to a club on the rise.
“I’m a glass-half-full type of person and I see some tremendous opportunities on both the playing and coaching side of things,” Hamill said.
“I have basically inherited no baggage and there’s only one way to go and that’s up. We have scope in the salary cap and player points and I think the opportunity is there to build something special. “I’m an educator, that’s what I do on a day-to-day basis and I think we can make Crib Point a great place to learn for players and coaches alike.”
From a football standpoint, Hamill said there was a glaring weakness that needed some tender loving care at Magpieland.
“Obviously averaging five or six goals per game, no matter how good you are defensively, is not going to win you games of football, so we need to look at how we can build that average up to 10 or 12 goals per game to give ourselves a realistic chance,” he said.
“And that’s something that’s exciting, I’m really looking forward to the challenge. It’s going to be a tough road early…but I know where we need to go.”
Caption: New Crib Point coach Steve Hamill, right, is welcomed to the Magpies nest by club president Steve Espenschied.