Kawana Football Club old guard (L-R) Ryan Smith, Clay Maynard, Leon Dwyer and Luke Ricketts will be leading the way as the team aims to defend their premiership this season. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily
Kawana Football Club old guard (L-R) Ryan Smith, Clay Maynard, Leon Dwyer and Luke Ricketts will be leading the way as the team aims to defend their premiership this season. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily Brett Wortman

Kawana Force puts loss of premiership coach behind them

FOOTBALL: Kawana Force captain Clay Maynard admits losing his coach barely a week out from tomorrow night's season-opener has thrown his side's premiership defence into disarray.

Former mentor Ian Runcie resigned as head coach last week due to a "difference of opinion" between himself, the playing group and the board.

Scott McLean has been installed as new coach and had a bit over a week to stamp his mark on the Force as its prepares for tomorrow night's round one fixture against Beerwah.

"Losing Ian definitely hinders us and I think a lot of the players didn't really know what was happening there for a while," Maynard said.

"You get used to the coach and the playing group and playing a certain way, so it has been different."

Kawana had a dynamite 2014, winning the premiership and Johnny Warren Cup before losing the grand final to Woombye.

Having been the best side for all of last season, the Force will likely have a huge target on its back, with opposition clubs wary of its class across the park.

MAYNARD said his players were not worried about what others were anticipating from them, but more concerned about reaching their own lofty expectations.

"I think we are only thinking about how we view ourself as a unit," he said.

"The pressure to perform week in and week out we will put on ourselves, just because of the quality of the squad is the main pressure."

Kawana was in good touch against Coolum last Saturday, disposing of the northern beach club 5-0 in their FFA Cup fixture.

Maynard said that was a good sign his side was effectively pushing aside the unrest caused by having a new coach installed so close to the season opener.

"We played well against Coolum on the weekend and won that easily and I saw some real positives" he said.

"We are excited to see what we can do this year and getting a new coach adds a different dynamic to the squad.

"But the squad has remained the same apart from a few new players who Scott (McLean) has brought in."

McLean said he was hoping to bring a successful brand of football to Kawana to continue the club's achievements.

"It's a good opportunity for me to try and help the club out that I've played at for quite a long time and have got a bit of a soft spot for," he said.

"I haven't played for the last couple of years and I retired after Kawana lost the grand final to Maroochydore 3-2 in 2012."

CABOOLTURE will head into the season bolstered by an imposing 9-1 triumph over Gympie in a midweek FFA Cup clash.

Gympie has rejoined the Coast premiership after five years in Wide Bay competitions and faces a tough test against reigning champion Woombye in its opening match tomorrow.

GAME DAY

Sunshine Coast Football, premier men's competition, round one

Caloundra v Maroochydore (Meridan Plains, 6pm), Kawana v Beegees (Bokarina, 6pm), Nambour-Yandina v Buderim (Yandina, 6pm), Noosa v Coolum (Sunshine Beach, 6pm), Woombye v Gympie (Woombye, 6pm)

Disclaimer: This story has been amended because of incorrect content.

Initially the Daily reported that captain Clay Maynard said it was a good sign his side was effectively pushing aside the unrest caused by McLean's appointment.

This sentence has been changed. Maynard actually said it was a good sign his side was effectively pushing aside the unrest caused by having a new coach installed so close to the season opener.

Initially the Daily also reported McLean as saying "I haven't played for the last couple of years and I retired after Kawana lost the grand final to Maroochydore 3-2 in 2012, but I won enough as a player."

However, the comment  "I won enough as a player" was not used in this context and it has been removed from the above story.


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