Barellan’s bid for a big pre-season has drawn an unexpected bonus, with former Leeton-Whitton footballer Sean Browning joining the Two Blues as an assistant coach.
Browning, who runs a gym in Leeton, was approached by his former Crows teammate – now Barellan coach – Will Overs to help plan their preparations for 2018. Soon enough, he was signed as a playing assistant.
“First of all he came on board as a fitness coach,” Overs said.
“I rang him because we played at Leeton together and he owns a gym there. I asked if he could fit us in, take us through the pre-season and do the fitness program.
“I asked him about his footy and he said he wasn’t playing. One thing led to another and he’s on board as an assistant coach.”
Browning held a similar role at Leeton-Whitton two years ago although he missed the preliminary final and grand final after being set back by a hamstring injury. Last year, he played just a couple of reserve grade games for the Crows.
Overs, who is returning for his second stint as coach, said Browning will give them another option through the midfield. And he is looking forward to having the coaching support.
“For sure. The first night he was there, he took Tuesday night training, it was good,” he said. “He’s very accomplished, he knows his footy and he’s good with people. He’ll be a real asset.”
Browning’s arrival follows the recent signing of gun midfielder Sean Ellis who has joined his fellow Canberra-based Two Blues in kicking off their own training.
“They’re all pretty keen. They’re training by themselves and they’re all in good nick which is handy,” Overs said.
He expects the returning Canberra players (minus Matt Bernasconi, who has gone to Queanbeyan) will be even better in their second season in the Farrer League, while Ellis undoubtedly adds an x-factor.
Browning’s arrival adds depth as well as leadership and Overs said it adds to the enthusiasm around the club.
“On Thursday night we had 30 at training which is unheard of for us at this time of year,” he said.
“It’s really good. Hopefully we’re going to have a bit of depth through the seniors and through the twos, putting pressure on spots, which is healthy.”
The Two Blues are unlikely to have Jordy Pettit (overseas) for the start of the season but confirmation that the versatlie Tom Conlan doesn’t require a knee reconstruction is welcome news.
Barellan have booked two pre-season practice games – both in Canberra – against Molonglo on March 4 and Gungahlin Jets on March 25.