New Apollo Bay football coach Brent Macleod says his father Greg sparked his desire to get into coaching.
The 25-year-old watched from the sidelines growing up as Greg Macleod led a host of teams across the Geelong region for two decades, including Yarram, Queenscliff, Ocean Grove and Thomson, where Brent started his football career.
He said that since then he had always wanted to get into coaching, and has held assistant roles at NEAFL club Tuggeranong and Bellarine league club Ocean Grove under Paul Lynch this season.
But Apollo Bay was the first club to give him the reins to his own team.
He officially became the Hawks’ coach on Monday after he was released from his contract by the Grubbers.
“Apollo Bay was the first club to offer me a senior coaching role and give me full control of my own premiership hunt, and that’s something that really appealed to me,” Macleod said.
“It all stemmed from a mutual friend at the club, I played footy with (reigning Jack Mahoney Medallist) Jarrod Wight and his brother Dylan at Thomson; Dylan and my brother are best mates,” he said.
“But coaching is something I’ve always been passionate about, my old man was coaching clubs throughout my whole childhood.
“I was an assistant coach at Tuggeranong when I was 20, then this year I was an assistant coach at Ocean Grove.”
Macleod joins the Colac district league with big raps following an already decorated career despite his young age.
He played in a senior premiership at Thomson as a 16-year-old in 2008 before the Geelong Falcons snapped him up, and he earned a scholarship to Geelong Grammar where he attended school with Colac exports Meyrick Buchanan and Jarryd Garner.
He joined SANFL club South Adelaide in 2011 and made the league’s team of the year, then played another year at Thomson where he earned the opportunity to represent Vic Country in 2012.
Macleod then joined ACT-based Tuggeranong in the NEAFL where he was an assistant coach, before returning to another stint at South Adelaide.
He returned home to Thomson for a third time in 2016, netting the Geelong district league’s best-and-fairest Whitley Medal after booting 90 goals in 18 home-and-away matches, and captained the GDFL interleague side.
Macleod then joined Ocean Grove this season.
He said he was eager to get stuck into his first coaching role and has already spoken with the bulk of the Hawks’ current list, with pre-season training to begin in mid-November.
“Retaining the current playing list was my first priority so I’ve spoken to a lot of the players already,” Macleod said.
“Then we’ll look to recruit after that, which the club will announce in due course,” he said.