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BJ to lead Dogs

Saturday, 5th December, 2020

North Football Club’s newly appointed Senior Coach, Brett ‘BJ’ Johnson (centre) with assistant coaches Josh Savage (left) and Jason Harwood are ready to tackle the 2021 season. PICTURE: Emily Ferguson North Football Club’s newly appointed Senior Coach, Brett ‘BJ’ Johnson (centre) with assistant coaches Josh Savage (left) and Jason Harwood are ready to tackle the 2021 season. PICTURE: Emily Ferguson

By Emily Ferguson

The North Broken Hill Football Club have elected a veteran Bulldog to lead the club as senior coach for the 2021 season. 

Brett ‘BJ’ Johnson has taken the position of league coach and will be assisted by Josh Savage and Jason Harwood. The trio combined have a total of over one thousand games played in the blue and white, a feat that ensures they have what it takes to lead the club next season. 

Johnson said the prospect of coaching has been on his mind for a few years but now was the right time to act on it. “I’ve sort of been thinking about it for the last three years and I knew there wasn’t many applications go in so I thought it was a good opportunity, my turn to put my hand in the ring and see what happens but I got lucky and got it so I’m really honoured,” he said. 

He has coached for the Bulldogs in the past but he said it was a long time ago. 

“Myself and Josh we actually coached the Under 18s but that would have been over 15 years ago now.”

BJ is most looking forward to getting back to footy after the forced year off due to COVID. “I’ve made contact with most of the boys now and everyone sort of seems keen, after seating around and missing footy for twelve months to sort of get back into the groove and get things going again,” he said. 

“My first goal is to just try and get the players attending training and sort of get our squad back together, like I said with the twelve months off we sort of don’t know what’s going to happen but it sounds good at the moment,” said Johnson. “Like I said I made contact with all the boys and they’re looking forward to it and really I just can’t wait for it. Basically we’ll go from there and see what happens, once we get the squad together we can sort of finalise what we want to do from there.”

Johnson said he elected Savage and Harwood as his assistant coaches because they work together well and have been around the football club together for a long time.

“We’re all sort of the three veterans that are still hanging around the club but Josh has won A grade premierships and same with Jason and we’ve all been on the scene for a long time so I think with the three of us, we’re good mates we can kind of say what we want to each other and go from there and still come out of it as mates so that’s why I chose them two,” he said. 

Having been at the club for many years, Johnson hopes he has the respect of the group going into his new coaching role.  “Our squad, I’ve kind of seen all the now 28/29 year olds grow up as kids, I used to call them my pups but they’re starting to get engaged, get married and having kids so the time has gone by, but I think there is still that gap there where I can get a bit of respect and hopefully lead the way.”

Club President Ben Victory spoke of Johnson’s reputation around the club and why he believes he was the best person for the role. “He’s a 300 plus game legend of the club who was pretty much an on field coach for most of those games, he’s a great leader of the club and someone that the boys really respect and admire and would play for as well.”

“After everyone not being around the club through coronavirus and that I think it’s going to take a well-respected leader to drag those boys back onto the training track, I think both of our candidates would have done that, but it’s great that the club decided to go with BJ and we think that he is the right man to navigate what will be a big year of football next year,” said Victory. 

The North Football Club have also selected their reserves coaches in Shayne Staker and Wayne Slater, while Steve Lihou will again coach the Under 18s. The Women’s coach is yet to be confirmed while the coaching positions for junior grades of 13’s, 15’s and Youth Girls are still being sought, anyone wishing to apply for these roles can do so by emailing ben@tristatetech.com.au by 5pm on Friday December 11. 

The NFC is hosting a ‘Meet the Coaches’ day at the clubrooms tomorrow, December 6 from 12 noon - anyone is welcome to attend for a barbeque, a chat and the chance to mingle with the coaches for the 2021 season. 

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