The Camden Haven Redbacks Football Club welcomed a familiar player to their coaching ranks.
Women’s goal keeper Tamara Burns will divide her time between the field and the sideline, clipboard in hand, during the 2017 football season.
Tamara assumes the role after her partner Jose Ustariz decided to step down at the end of last season. They are well-drilled in juggling parenting, busy work schedules and sports duties.
“Jayda (their three-year-old daughter) comes to training and helps set up and Jose and I will be teaming up to balance work, family and sport,” Tamara said.
“One of the reasons I decided to coach was that the team has a great player base. The form is there, the talent is there and I hope I can bring out the best in them.”
A handful of players have left the team for work or university study commitments and an equal number of new players have joined.
Tamara said she was excited to welcome a talented young player to take over her traditional role of goal keeper.
“Maddie Newman will step up from the under 16s to the women’s team this year,” Tamara said.
“She will be our number one goalie and I will coach or be on the field as needed.
“Maddie is a very impressive player. She filled in for us in a few games last season and we’re pleased she will be a member of the team this year.”
Preseason, the women’s team is training at Rainbow Beach Bonny Hills, using the soft sand, hilly terrain and even playground ropes to vary their fitness training.
Assisting at training is former player Renee Bignell who, along with Jose, will support Tamara and the team throughout the season.
The Redbacks women have a strong playing history in the Football Mid North Coast league. In 2016 they reached the finals. In 2015 they were grand final winners.
“We perform well as a team. We don’t have any stand out players, there’s not that one person who will save the day for us,” Tamara said.
“I know we can’t win every game, but we can win if we play well in every game and that’s what’s important.
“We will be focussing on our team play and improving our goal scoring capabilities. We have always had an outstanding defensive line, so we need to work on following through to the back of the goal net.”
Players will test their team dynamic at the annual six-a-side tournament in Forster this weekend.
Mid North Coast football clubs will nominate their teams in all divisions next week. The Redbacks have positions open in the junior ranks, men’s premier league and reserves, and are seeking a coach for men’s reserve grade.
Currently, premier league coach Jim Tredinnick and players are putting the senior men through the preseason paces at training.
“If anyone is still sitting on the fence about playing or not, now is the time to decide and join us,” Tamara said.
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