Coaching director into top gear

RECENTLY appointed Ipswich regional coaching director Neil Shearer received a welcome boost when he arrived in the city late last week.

After being told he would have his own office and a car to assist with his important role, Shearer received even better news at Llewellyn Motors Booval.

“What was a surprise was they said I would be getting a new one (Corolla Hatchback). It was an awesome set-up,” Shearer said.

“It’s all new to me.”

The car is a part of an ongoing arrangement between Llewellyn Motors and Ipswich Hockey. Llewellyn Motors supply the vehicle, pay the rego and insurance and look after the servicing.

For newcomers to Ipswich like Shearer, it was a professional touch as he sets about his development work.

The latest model car will also be a huge help given the Rockhampton born and bred coach has a 10-month old baby Alexis and another child on the way with wife Julie.

Shearer officially started his two-year deal at the Ipswich Hockey Complex yesterday.

He was preparing to meet club representatives last night before working on Hookin2Hockey and representative programs.

“I love working with the grassroots, getting into schools, building up the depth of quality junior representative players,” Shearer said, having been in Rockhampton for seven years.

“I’ll be working with all the clubs. You don’t want to be aligned with one club because you’re here to help everybody.”

Shearer, 41, has been a coach for 10 years after playing in Rockhampton and for Valleys in Brisbane.

The former midfield/striker made the Queensland under-21 squad and represented Queensland Country in 1993 before turning to coaching.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, he also had playing and coaching success at national level in indoor hockey.

While in Rockhampton in recent years, Shearer also worked in Gladstone.

The former Australia Post employee said he wanted less travel with a young family.

“The beauty about this job is I’m only working with one town and I’ll be home every night,” he said.

The keen gardener said he would use some of his Central Queensland ideas in Ipswich, having coached elite players like Mark Knowles and Jamie Dwyer during their junior days in Rockhampton.

Meanwhile, Llewellyn Motors marketing manager Richard Quinn said the company was thrilled to continue its sporting partnership with hockey.

“Ipswich hockey is such a large sport in Ipswich,” Quinn said. “We’re happy to have a long-term involvement with the sport.”

Llewellyn Motors dealer principal Ross Llewellyn was a former player and treasurer of Ipswich Hockey.

His son Wade welcomed Shearer last Friday.

“They (Ipswich Hockey) use the car to do a lot work around schools and junior development,” Quinn said.

“They (the Llewellyn family) are more than happy to provide a car for that to continue the prosperity of the sport in Ipswich.”

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