football & netball club

A New Hope

Corey Smelt is welcomed by
secretary Leighton Huxtable

By Carl Pfeiffer (The Murray Valley Standard)

AFTER being on the brink of extinction just six months ago, the Karoonda and Districts Football Club is breathing new life after recently signing new league coach Corey Smelt.
The Mallee Football League club struggled to field two competitive senior sides last season, with many tipping the club to fold at season's end.
Karoonda engaged in merger talks with other clubs, including River Murray club Tailem Bend, in a desperate bid to keep their struggling side going.
But the signing of Smelt as coach and some fundraising and networking by the club has put all rumours to bed, according to new football manager Leighton Huxtable.
"After the negativity of last season we can report from our AGM that we have filled all positions at the football club," Huxtable said.
"Our financial situation is looking strong and with the signing of Corey we are hoping to be much more competitive this year and in the future."
Huxtable said the improved financial situation of the club, along with jobs available in the town, would mean the Magpies would attract better player numbers for the 2009 season.
"Our operations committee have been very productive in recruiting players," he said.
"We are interviewing numerous targets and the club is in a position to select the players we want.
"There are also eight jobs available in the area, we want to fill these jobs with young people that will be of assistance to the community and sporting clubs.
"The opportunity to get young people in the community ensures a larger base of local players."
The signing of Smelt is a big boom for the club, as he too will have contacts that should bring more players to the Magpies.
Smelt has previous experience as a coach of Tailem Bend between 2001 and 2005, where he led the side to a grand final.
He could also be used as a handy target for Karoonda up forward, having kicked an impressive 109 goals for Hills side Kangarilla last season.
Smelt said he was looking forward to the challenge of trying to bring the bottom-placed club back up the ladder.
"We are looking at a club that has been struggling for the past two years," he said.
"I want to get them back to being competitive again.
"It is a good opportunity, they have the potential to go forward.
"They are a very proud club."
Huxtable, who is also the president of the MFL, said the improved health of Karoonda was positive for the future of the league in general.
"It (The MFL) is looking very sound, by shoring the Karoonda and Districts Football Club up we will be a six-team league for the foreseeable future,” he said.

Article courtesy of The Murray Valley Standard 31/10/08


























































































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