Pat Duynhoven could be the man to end Simpson’s run of grand final heartaches in Colac district netball.
Tigers officials have appointed the dedicated clubman to coach their A Grade outfit next season, taking over the reins from gun defender Paige Mason who led Simpson to the past two deciders.
Duynhoven will join a rare breed of male top-grade coaches in the history of the CDFNL, with late South Colac legend Peter “Helmut” Foley and committed Lorne mentor Kev Van Deuren having taken on A Grade coaching roles in the past.
The 51-year-old said his appointment was his first netball gig, having led Simpson junior football sides in the past after finishing his playing career at the club.
Duynhoven has three daughters, including current A Grade goaler Emily, who have made their way through the netball ranks with the Tigers.
He said years of watching from the sidelines and exposure to playing mixed netball had given him a good handle on the game.
Duynhoven has also formed a bond with former Western Bulldogs coach and current Melbourne AFL official Brendan McCartney, which he said had given him confidence to step into unfamiliar territory as Simpson’s new netball mentor.
“I’ve mainly just coached junior footy, but I was lucky that I had Brendan McCartney mentoring me for a year or so, which was fantastic,” he said.
“I did a coaching course when I was involved in the juniors and I just asked him if he would come out and help me at Simpson and I was lucky he did, and from there he gave me his number and I’ve been in contact with him since.
“You look at things a lot differently from what he’s taught me.”
Simpson finished on top of the ladder after the 2016 and ’17 home-and-away seasons, but fell short in grand finals at the hands of South Colac and Lorne.
The Tigers are set to keep the majority of their playing list which lost this year’s A Grade decider to the Dolphins, with Mason committed to staying at the club in a playing capacity.
Duynhoven said he was confident he could take a talented playing group to the next step in the club’s bid to claim its first piece of CDFNL silverware.
“They contacted me and asked if I was interested so I thought about it for a little while, and I feel like I have something to offer,” he said.
For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.