Coach search ramps up

Jordan Jones in action for Williamstown. (AFL Photos)

By Mark Heenan

Grubber defender Justin Carey and Williamstown VFL player Jordan Jones, an ex-Grove local junior, are among a list of candidates vying for Ocean Grove’s senior football coaching role.

Interviews for the coaching job at Shell Rd in 2019 took place last week with Carey and Jones confirming their interest as separate playing coaches after Paul Lynch stood down this month.

Carey, a former GFL St Albans co-coach, said he wants to finish off his playing days at Ocean Grove.

It is understood Carey, who has played in the Ovens and Murray and Goulburn Valley leagues, has a strong desire to coach at senior level after his playing career finishes.

“I really enjoyed this year at Ocean Grove, so hopefully it works out the way I hope it does, and I am running around at Ocean Grove again,” said Carey, who finished third in the club’s senior vote count for 2018.

“If it all works out I’ll finish my career there.”

Meantime Jones, 28, who played two AFL games with the West Coast Eagles in 2010, was contacted by the Voice at the weekend regarding the vacant coaching role.

Jones was a prominent talent at the Ocean Grove Collendina Cobras Junior Football Club.

Jones, a former Werribee Tigers VFL player, said he had spoken with the Grubbers but said his focus was competing in Williamstown’s 2018 VFL finals campaign.

“I am not in a position to discuss Ocean Grove Football Club,” Jones told the Voice.

“I have had a discussion about applying for the job with Ocean Grove – but that’s all.

“But my focus is solely on Williamstown and finals.

“But once the season is finished I’ll have to sit down and assess my situation and decide what I want to do next football wise.”

Former Ocean Grove playing coach Shane Jack, who led the club to its last senior grand final appearance in 2014, is no longer a candidate after he informed the Grubbers of his withdrawal last week.

Four-time Ocean Grove premiership coach Mark Neeld, who led the club to its last senior premiership in 2003, headlines a sub-committee that will select the next senior coach.

Neeld said further talks with candidates will take place this week for the prized role, which has attracted wide interest. 

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