By Matt Fotia
Upwey-Tecoma have confirmed their coach for the 2020 AFL Outer East Premier Division season, with 2018 Vermont Premiership player Adam Parker taking on the role for the next two seasons.
Parker, who will fulfil the role as a non-playing coach, comes to the Tigers with plenty of impressive playing experience, having spent two years in VFL with the Casey Scorpions, been captain of the Scoresby Football Club and been named in EFL Division One Team of the Year on four occasions.
Parker has also recently been involved with the Eastern Ranges Under 16 and the Under 15 Victorian Schoolboys squads as a coach.
The Tigers are currently placed eighth on the Premier Division ladder with three victories, the most recent coming against Wandin.
Upwey-Tecoma President Craig Waters is very excited about the appointment of Parker, who will replace David Bell, after Bell announced earlier in the season that he would stand down from the role to further his playing days for the Tigers.
“We’re really excited, we think we’ve got a quality person,”
“Belly stood down because he found, especially earlier in the season, that it wasn’t easy to combine both playing and coaching,”
“He made the decision that he wanted to maximise his playing days going forward for the next couple of years.”
Waters and the selection panel were impressed with Parker’s communication skills and expect him to help their impressive under 18’s – who are fourth on the ladder – as well as the senior squad.
“He’s a high school teacher, so his communication skills are very good,”
“He comes from a successful club and a club that has to work our how to win on the small grounds and the big grounds,”
“Our Under 18’s are predominantly bottom age and he’ll also have a fair bit to do with them,”
“He’s got some contacts too.”
Parker, who is currently an assistant coach and vice captain at the EFL powerhouse, has been passionate about becoming a senior coach for the last couple of seasons, after injuries gave him a taste of the role.
“Two years ago I really started getting into it through a couple of injuries and I really enjoyed it,”
“I realised it was a bit of a passion, so went along with it and have been trying to get as much exposure as possible,”
The Wantirna College Physical Education teacher has connections to the club via the outgoing coach David Bell and Brad Neil and believes that he and the club are on the same page about it’s future path.
“The way they presented, the new facilities and the morale amongst the players, despite some recent losses, was all great,”
“They’ve put faith in what I want to do and what I want to implement and are really supportive,”
“Hopefully we can take a couple of good strides forward, set up a culture and a gameplan for the whole club.”
Parker is content leaving Vermont at this stage of his career, with the Eagles in a good spot coming off a drought breaking premiership in 2018 and with plenty of youth ready to take his spot in the side.
However with the Eagles eyeing off another premiership in 2019 – they sit clear in first spot on the Premier Division ladder – Parker will stay focused on the task at hand, before shifting his attention to the boys at Chosen Avenue.
“It’ll definitely be two eyes on the job at Vermont,”
“And maybe half an eye on Upwey-Tecoma.”