Michael Nixon takes on coaching duties

ON THE BALL: Michael Nixon (pictured here in 2014) will be back as the lock, and taking on the coaching duties for the Blayney Bears in 2020. Photo: Steve Gosch.

ON THE BALL: Michael Nixon (pictured here in 2014) will be back as the lock, and taking on the coaching duties for the Blayney Bears in 2020. Photo: Steve Gosch.

Blayney Bears will go back to the future in 2020 after making a late coaching change ahead of the 2020 Group 10 premier league season.

Michael Nixon, who co-coached the Bears with Dane Howarth during the club's last successful season in 2015 when the Bears made it through to the finals, will be taking the reins for 2020.

The new coaching appointment comes after last year's mentor Ben McKenna stepped away from the role just after Christmas.

Nixon took his players for a training run around King George Oval for the first time on Tuesday night and he's determined to get the side up to strength, quickly.

"We have a lot of young players now coming into the side and that's fantastic, but we need to get as fit as we can, as quick as we can," he said.

Nixon said early signs were good at the club but was keen to add some depth to the Bears' 2020 roster ahead of round one.

He said after a winless campaign in 2019 ensuring the club gets off to a good start in the upcoming season was imperative.

"It's only early, but we're struggling for numbers this year and hopefully we can pull a few numbers in," he said.

Nixon has been a part of the Bears since they re-entered the competition in 2013 and played his last games of footy in Blayney in 2016.

For the past few years though he has been working in the ACT and hasn't strapped on the boots since, but his return to living in Blayney will allow him to nurture the side into the future and give him a second bite of the game he loves.

"At this stage I'll be a player-coach, but we'll see how the body holds up and play it by ear I guess," he said.

Whether on the field or not, Nixon is positive about having the experience of Siosaia Vave and a winning side in the under 18s to draw on.

"They're a young side that's had the taste of victory in the under 18s which gives them a positive attitude, so it's a matter of keeping them all together and if we can do that we'll have a competitive side not only this year, but over the years to come," he said.

President of the Bears Damon Taylor said Nixon would not only be a great coach for the team, but he would add more depth.

"He's a great player and will, as a playing coach, be another player on the field for us," he said.

The club is also negotiating with a number of other players from Group 10 sides to add to their already promising line-up: "There're a few players around that we're talking to," Taylor said.

The Bears' first game of 2020 is against CYMS at Blayney.