Irymple gun midfielder Dan Coghlan has re-signed for the 2018 SFNL season. Photo: PAUL MENSCH
By MITCH RODD
IRYMPLE have moved to re-sign gun midfielder Dan Coghlan for the 2018 Sunraysia Football and Netball League season.
The 26-year-old has starred for the Swallows in his inaugural season in Sunraysia and is one of the favourites to take out the 2017 McLeod Medal.
The signature of the former Essendon VFL captain was highly sought after last off-season, but it was the Swallows who have benefited from his addition into their young squad.
Coghlan said his first season in the Blue and Gold was always going to be a challenge, but he has enjoyed it.
“It feels like being back at my home club, and everyone has been a great support. I’m looking forward to next year,” he said.
If he were to win the McLeod Medal, Coghlan would become the fifth Irymple player to do so since 2005, following Brad Eaton (2005, 2007-tie), Donato De Angelis (2012), Brodie Hodson (2014) and Nathan Hamence (2016 three-way-tie).
His main aim, however, is to ensure his side still make the year’s finals series.
Losses to closest finals rivals Robinvale/Euston and Imperials in the last two weeks have left Irymple hanging on to their place in the top four on percentage.
“In the last couple of week we let ourselves down with skill errors and making mistakes that we weren’t making earlier in the year,” Coghlan said.
“I think we’ve now got to rely on a few other results to go our way, but we can only just keep winning to give ourselves the best chance of getting there.”
Coghlan, however, said he has been impressed by the brigade of younger players who have made an impact at Senior level in 2017.
“Quite a few of the young guys have gotten a go,” he said.
“Nando Cirillo has played all year, Riley Anderson started in the twos and is now one of our best 21. Mitch Christensen has come in and played a role as well.”
The personal trainer and co-owner of newly opened gym 141 Fitness said the club had been impressed with the rapid improvement of underrated defender Ben Tankard.
“I think (coach) Will (Callow) has said before that we need a few more blokes like ‘Tanks’,” Coghlan said.
“Getting to know him this year, there is nothing flashy about him, he just gets in there and does his job every week.
“He often gives away a bit of size but he’s had some big jobs. He played on Adam Hartlett last week and did a really good job.”
Key forward Liam Garlick has endured a few quieter weeks of late after an outstanding burst earlier in the season, but Coghlan backed the young gun to recapture his best form.
“Liam was really important for us earlier in the season and will be for our run home,” he said.
“He’s had a couple of quieter games but he’s just got to get that bit of confidence back.
“When you put the ball out in front of him, not many defenders can stop him.”
Irymple are at home to Merbein tomorrow.