Beau Vernon exits Parrots on a high
HAVING guided the Leongatha senior football team to the 2017 premiership and two grand finals in 2016 and 2015, Beau Vernon is stepping down from the coaching role.
Speaking to The Star on Monday, Beau said he would have loved to have coached the Parrots in 2018 but family commitments and the long travel distances have influenced his decision.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my journey at Leongatha; it certainly had its ups and downs on the field, but I had a great group of players to coach and the culture we were able to develop in the club has been terrific too,” Beau said.
Talking about the moment the final siren sounded on grand final day and that one point victory, Beau said a whole raft of emotions came all at once.
“After the siren I couldn’t talk, an amazing feeling just hit me; relief, joy, excitement, pride, a mix of raw emotions. People came up with tears in their eyes, they have real love for this club.”
His coaching effort is even more remarkable when you consider Vernon had never coached before and he guided the Parrots to the top of the ladder for three successive seasons.
In three seasons of coaching Leongatha Vernon’s record stands at 61 games coaching for 53 wins and eight losses; a strike rate of nearly 87 percent.
Despite the disappointments of 2015 and 2016 Vernon decided to stick around for a third season despite the birth of his and wife Lucy’s child Layla early in 2016.
Beau said with daughter Layla, aged one and a half, another baby due in January, the focus for 2018 will be on family.
“Lucy wants to get back into playing football too and intends to have a run with the Bass Coast Breakers,” he said.
“I have just finished a Bachelor of Business at RMIT and will be looking at my employment opportunities as well.”
He will also continue with his many speaking engagements providing motivation to his many and varied audiences.
Beau said it was a huge year as not only did Leongatha break through but his favourite team Richmond saluted as well.
“What odds would I have got at the start of the season, Richmond and Leongatha winning the flag in one year,” he laughed.
The Leongatha Football Netball Club (LFNC) announced the decision to its members on Saturday, Beau told the club on Wednesday and said it was the hardest decision he has ever had to make.
The journey that the LFNC and Beau have been on has been an incredible one; from the lows of Beau’s crippling injury against Wonthaggi on June 23, 2012 to the long rehabilitation and finally to the amazing decision to take on the coaching role from 2015. It culminated in a fantastic grand final one point win over Maffra in September 2017 that held raw emotion for all players, supporters and volunteers involved.
The club thanked Beau, his wife Lucy and parents Kerrie and Darryl for their unwavering commitment to the club during this period.
“The Leongatha football netball club wishes Beau, Lucy and the family all the best in the next phase of their lives and we can’t wait to get together for the first reunion of this incredible premiership,” club president Mal Mackie said.
Beau will travel with the players to the Gold Coast for a football trip soon but expects to have another catch up with the players before Christmas.
“I’ll certainly be keeping my eye on the club and will never forget my time at the club.”
Leongatha is this week advertising for playing and non-playing coaches for the club.
Short URL: /?p=22891