Hillier shows faith in spirited young guns
AFTER a successful first season coaching at Western Spirit, former national player Darren Hillier is keen for the club's youth to "take the next step" in 2013.
Hillier has been appointed Spirit's head coach for next year's revamped Football Brisbane Capital League Division 1.
Having guided Spirit's talented Division 1 Reserve grade to the finals last season, Hillier has the chance to build a talented side for the future.
His development goals and focus on professionalism have been helped by having experienced coach Billy Livingstone and 2012 manager John Maconachie returning.
"Billy has done a great job with the youth and is looking to take it a step further and get involved with the senior side of things," Hillier said.
"He's a perfect fit with his experience and knowledge of the lads in the local area. I definitely want him with me."
Maconachie recently completed a senior licence course and will take Spirit's Reserve grade side in 2013.
"We worked pretty well together," Hillier said of his 2012 association with Livingstone and Maconachie.
"We all have a lot in common with football."
Hillier knows regional players have extra options next season with locally-based teams in the Australian Premier League and Brisbane Premier League.
However, he's waiting to see which players trial and return to club football.
"It is a big commitment training three nights a week and playing so we might get some of them back," Hillier said.
Hillier is confident he'll retain many of the Reserve grade players who finished second this year before falling a game short of the grand final.
He's also eager to retain skilful strikers like Matt Taylor and Ray Mortensen who tore opposition defences apart this year.
Club regulars like Dean Barnes, Andrew Miller, Joel Hancock and Sam Hay are on Hillier's radar.
Hillier has been running six-a-side training sessions and small-sided games involving the youth players on Wednesday nights.
"Some of the youth kids we had last year are quite good and could fill roles in the Reserve grade team," the former Australian Institute of Sport scholarship holder said.
Players interested in being part of Spirit's campaign next season have been invited to training on Wednesday nights until Christmas and from Friday, January 4, at Kippen Park.
"Most of the boys have indicated they'll be there on the fourth (January) and we'll go from there," Hillier said.
Players interested in being part of Western Spirit's men's senior and reserve grade sides in 2013 are invited to training on Wednesday nights before Christmas and from Friday, January 4.
The sessions start at 6.30pm at the club's venue at Kippen Park (Enid Street, Goodna).
The 2013 Capital League season kicks off on March 2.