Horbury stays on as Tyack tackles new role for Bloods

by Nathan Dole

AS PLAYING coach of the Bloods senior team, Nathan Horbury can see a lot of positive signs for South Bendigo Football Netball Club leading into 2020 and beyond.

Horbury has re-signed to coach the Bloods for another two years.

Club great Peter Tyack will also be back at South Bendigo FNC for the 2020 season to coach the under-18s.

Horbury and Tyack, pictured alongside club president Alan Ellis, will play roles in the club’s goal to contest senior finals, a feat it has not achieved since a 43-point loss to Strathfieldsaye in the 2012 elimination final.

Recruited by the Bloods after a successful stint with Redan in the Ballarat FNL, Horbury said his first year of coaching had been one of many challenges.

South Bendigo has rarely had its best 22 available because of injury, but those they have blooded have impressed.

“We have a great bunch of youngsters,” Horbury said.

“Injuries have really hurt us at times, but the development of such a young group is really positive.

“There have not been as many wins as we would like, but we have been in a lot of matches,” Horbury said.

“We just have not been consistent enough in games, or week by week.

“A lot of that is because of fielding such a young team, but the willingness to learn and improve holds us in good stead for next season and many more.”

A four-time best and fairest winner at Redan, Horbury said coaching had thrown up many challenges.

“I have a great people around me at South,” he said of an off-field support team led by Aaron Connaughton and Neale Torpey.

The round 13 clash with Golden Square at Queen Elizabeth Oval was indicative of South Bendigo’s run.

The Bloods were within two goals at three quarter-time, but the Bulldogs slammed on seven unanswered goals on their way to a 97-49 victory.

“It had been a brilliant effort for three quarters,” Horbury said of a 40-52 scoreline at the last change.

“Concentration and workrate only has to drop a small margin and strong teams like Golden Square make you pay.”

Horbury’s re-appointment will also trigger talks with prospective recruits and those on the Bloods list.

“A goal in recruiting is to sign a couple of key position players.

“Will Allen is going to be a great player for us, but it’s a big ask for him to compete at centre half-forward at his age.

“A key forward or two will be a priority.”

Stars for the Bloods in many matches have been onballers Brody Haddow and Tom Brereton, Callum Crisp in the ruck, Andrew van Heumen and Joel Swatton in defence.

Key forward Kaiden Antonowicz has kicked 52 goals and also played a mix of mid and across half-back.

 “Callum Crisp is a brilliant ruckman,” said Horbury.

“He works hard in every match, often gives us first use of the ball, and played a great game for Bendigo in the country championships game.”

Younger players such as Mitch Goodwin, Braydan Torpey, Connor Robertson, Dylan McCutcheon, Tyler McLeod, and the Harvey brothers, Brock and Regan, are the future of the club.

All clubs have their injury woes, with the Bloods’ depth tested in mid-season.

“There was one match where none of the seven defenders from the first round win against Maryborough were available.”

Key defender Daniel Nalder has not played since round two because of a knee injury, and full-back Daniel Johnstone played just his sixth senior game in  Saturday’s 10-goal win on Kangaroo Flat’s ground at Bendigo Mazda Oval in Dower Park.

Among those to spend extended time on the sidelines was co-captain Zac Hare.

Horbury’s leadership and skill have been to the fore in every contest.

Able to play off half-back, through midfield or onball, Hobury starred for Bendigo against AFL Outer East and represented Victoria Country in its 17-point win against the Victorian Amateur Football Association.

He was among the best as he represented Victoria Country for a second time.

Premiership glory is what Peter Tyack marked many times throughout a career spanning more than 250 games for the club.

Small in stature, Tyack was a star in many big games, especially the grand final wins by the Peter Bradbury-coached Bloods in 1990 and ’91, and Peter Curran-coached line-ups of ’93 and ’94.

Inducted to the Bendigo FNL Hall of Fame in 1996, Tyack holds the rare distinction of being a Michelsen medallist and George Symons medallist, league best and fairest in seniors and in the under-18s.

As an 18-year-old he was a rover-forward as Sandhurst won the 1978 senior grand final against Golden Square, 124 to 121.

A year later he was joint winner of the Michelsen Medal with Golden Square ruckman Eric Pascoe.

The star-studded Bendigo teams in the inter-league campaigns throughout the late 80s and early 90s had Tyack as first rover.

Tyack has tackled a variety of off-field roles since his playing days.

He has coached the senior team, been a development officer and coaching co-ordinator, director of coaching for the junior club, and also coached the under-16s seniors team.

Tyack believes the key to sustained success at any club is the focus on the under-age sides at all levels.

The Bloods’ legend will be well-prepared for such a big task.

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