McKenna the right Guy for GC
MANY people may have thought Guy McKenna was already coach of the Gold Coast Football Club.
After all, he has been responsible for assembling and guiding a very competitive TAC Cup side this season and will be at the helm of the GC FC's VFL side next season.
So the announcement yesterday that McKenna would be the club's first AFL coach didn't come as that much of a surprise to anyone.
McKenna, who has played a role in the club's development since it was awarded its AFL licence, has signed on through to 2012 and will coach the team in its inaugural AFL season in 2011.
Gold Coast Football Club chairman John Witheriff said McKenna had exceeded expectations during the year and was prepared to put his reputation on the line for the opportunity to be the Gold Coast's first senior coach.
“He showed enormous courage late last year to move his family to the Gold Coast without any guar- antees of being appointed beyond 2010,” Witheriff said.
“Guy's credentials are impec- cable - as a champion player, a coach and as a person - he represents everything the Gold Coast Football Club stands for.
“He has certainly embraced the Gold Coast quickly by fitting into the local community.”
AFL Hall of Famer McKenna played 267 games and won two premierships with West Coast.
He retired in 2000, spent two years as a West Coast assistant coach and spent another five years under Collingwood mentor Mick Malthouse.
McKenna said he was confident he would get the Gold Coast job after backing himself in the devel- opment role after leaving Collingwood last year.
“I was more than prepared to do the time to prove myself, which ultimately you have to do as a senior coach and an assistant coach to get the opportunity,” McKenna said.
“I believed in the way I work, the way I communicate and how I see the game; it was going to be enough to secure the job.
“It's the opportunity of a lifetime to build this club over two years and get the team right before entering the AFL competition.
“There are many challenges, but I think they are all good ones. With how the club is being set up I can certainly promise an exciting brand of football for supporters.
“Physically we will be fighting out of our weight division, technically we are going to be able to handle ourselves in some games, but we will definitely be competitive.”
The Gold Coast club now has a formidable coaching team with McKenna and former Geelong assistant coach Ken Hinkley, who signed with the club on Tuesday.
McKenna said Hinkley is a successful person as a player and a coach and has arguably been involved in what is potentially one of the best ever clubs to play AFL football in recent times.
“To have that sort of experience join your coaching panel it's exciting, and I think he is excited about the quality of the young list of players he will be working with,” said McKenna.