Knights finalise coaches early to bolster 2019 season
FOOTBALL: Newly-appointed Ipswich Knights head coach Andy Ogden is pleased the Football Queensland Premier League club has quickly sorted out its major appointments for next season.
"We've definitely hit the ground running,'' the proud Ipswich coach said.
"I've been involved in previous years assisting and having some input but I'm classing this basically as the first year (as head coach).
"I'm really keen. It's my choice that I want to do it.
"I think I've got something to offer and we're really going to go in with a positive attitude.''
Ogden oversaw the talent-rich Knights under-20 side that reached the recent FQPL grand final.
Fresh from that achievement, Ogden is already planning a program for loyal Knights footballers to follow from mid-October while recruiting new players to strengthen Ipswich's senior team.
"The hard yards start where we start retaining the players we want to retain and then get out into the market and see what players can improve the squad,'' Ogden said.
"Hopefully they come back in early November in decent nick and then we can start building because the season starts very early (January).''
As one of Ipswich's most experienced coaches, the former Coalstars Premier League player welcomes the people appointed to assist him next season.
Former player Lucas Wilson will be Ogden's senior team assistant with Andy White continuing as goalkeeper coach.
"I worked with Lucas a little bit prior to this,'' Ogden said.
"Lucas has got a really good technical brain for the game and he's a coach who is learning and progressing so I'm really happy to have him on board. And it helps that he's a club man too.''
Ogden said having White committed for next season was a huge benefit.
"If you can offer that professionalism and that with a goalkeeper it certainly helps,'' he said.
Last season's Knights under-18 coach Bob Maclot steps up to guide the under 20s in 2019.
Ogden and Maclot worked closely together bringing the Knights exciting juniors up into under-20 and senior football this year.
Former Premier League player and Souths under-20 coach Tim Richards will direct the Knights under-18s after being invited by Ogden to join the club.
"I worked with Tim when we were at Brisbane Force,'' Ogden said.
"I just like the way he coaches, his philosophies, his mannerisms. He's a really good guy.
"He likes to play the game the way I like it played so he was a really good fit.''
After the Knights changed coaches early in the season for the second year in a row, Ogden knows stability at the top is important.
He's also eager to see the club's best under-20 players demonstrate early form to be considered.
"Just because I'm moving up to the first team doesn't mean they get a rite of passage,'' Ogden said.
"They'll have to be certainly in good form. They'll have to be physically ready for the challenge.
"It will certainly make the senior group a lot more aware that we do have good players coming through.''
The Knights 2019 coaching appointments come as the club named its latest award winners.
They included Lincoln Rule and Flynn Park, who won the top two honours in the senior and under-20 teams respectively.
"I thought Lincoln's second half of the year year was exceptional,'' Ogden said. "He really grew into that leadership role and guided the team around.''
2018 Ipswich Knights award winners
Senior team: Player of the Year - Lincoln Rule. Players' Player: Lincoln Rule. Golden Boot: Emmanuel Peter.
U20: Player of Year - Flynn Park. Players' Player: Flynn Park. Golden Boot: Matthew Drummond.
U18: Player of Year - Edgar Harvey. Players' Player: Darren (DJ) Barton. Golden Boot: Alex Goulding.