THE Yenda Tigers are searching for a new first grade coach after Henry Nelson informed club officials he would be stepping down from the post next season.
Nelson guided the Tigers to a fifth-placed finish in their return to the GDFA’s top tier but said he was unable to commit to the club going forward due to his visa circumstances.
“I told Jason (Wood, president) the club needs to be in the top two next year, basically, and for the betterment of the club, it’s time to get a more experienced coach in,” he said.
“I would have loved to have stayed but it’s a priority for me to stay in the country and I may have to relocate.
“I had to give them a straight answer – it’s been a great family club and great to me.”
The outspoken Nelson – who created plenty of headlines throughout the season for his views on opposition sides and the standard of local refereeing – said he was far from satisfied with where Yenda ended up on the ladder.
The Tigers spent most of the season in third spot but slipped towards the back end of the season and were leapfrogged by Yoogali FC and Leeton United.
“At the end of the day the club should have finished at least third this year – fifth is excellent in regards to having a new first grade team, but to me, personally, that’s not what I wanted,” Nelson said. “We didn’t fulfil the potential we actually had. This club must be in the top two next season, there’s no shadow of a doubt about that and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be.
“Most of the players will be here next year and they’re already in the gym, getting in shape.
“There’s been a lot of long-term commitment and a few have secured full-time work so they won’t be going anywhere soon.
“The spine of the team we had this year will be here. If I have to leave I have to leave, but until then I want to help in any way I can.”
Tigers president Jason Wood said he was delighted with Nelson’s coaching performance this year.
“He did a great job,” he said.
“This was something we’ve been discussing for a while – we knew what his situation was and he’s working with us.
“He’s the one that put his hand up and said it wasn’t fair on the team if he went in as coach again, if he was missing for the whole pre-season.”
Wood also hinted the decision on Nelson’s successor could be made sooner rather than later.
“A few of us on the committee have been looking at our options. There’s a bit happening at the moment,” he said.
“We’ve got a few blokes in mind that can coach but we’re just waiting on some feedback and some answers from them, basically.”