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Willingham named Reserves coach


Newly appointed Reserves coach, Richard Willingham, says the turnover at the club over the off season provides an opportunity for an exciting 2017.

The 150-game Fitzroy and Fitzroy Reds veteran has stepped into the role for good mate Sam Buckley, who will take on an assistant role after his work commitments increased.

Richard says hes pretty excited about coaching footy. I was always going to be involved this year as Bucks' assistant but we've now switched the roles as he is pretty busy with work. And life as a political journo will have some challenges with training, but I've managed that as a player for the past five years so it should be fine./p>

Richard has an expectation of playing finals, which would be an improvement on the last few seasons, but also welcomes the prospect of losing players to senior selection.

I hope I do lose lots of players to senior selection on performance!

The reserves should know, especially after the pre-season, what is expected of playing senior footy. We will implement the same game plan and have a strong emphasis on contested footy.

Having spent a lot of time as an on-field leader in the Reserves, Richard says his knowledge of the players should prove handy when he needs to call on someone to step up.

His predecessor and now assistant coach the man with whom he shared his 150th game last year became somewhat infamous last year for donning the boots and filling in when his team was short. Richard says if he needs to step back into the fray he will. You never say never. No doubt if it occurs he'll probably line up alongside me in a pocket, at Brunswick St./p>

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