As a new chapter in Ben Lavars’ life opens, he can’t help but reflect on his past two years with the Maryborough Football Netball Club (MFNC) and the broader community.
Lavars fronted up to Maryborough two years ago, taking on a teaching role and handed MFNC’s senior football side, which had recorded just one win in its past three seasons, all while leaving his wife and young son behind in Geelong.
Year one didn’t see an increase in results, with Lavars struggling to retain talent from the previous seasons and quickly learning just how tough his first coaching gig would be.
Season 2019 would break a four-year bad luck curse that followed the Magpies, with the side posting six wins off the back of a highly successful recruitment drive.
“As my first coaching role, especially in that first year, it probably couldn’t get much harder,” Lavars said.
“It was tough recruiting and not really knowing what to say to people. I didn’t know where we were going to finish or how many games we were even going to win.
“I learned a lot about myself and I’ve had to step up personally in a lot of ways and learn a lot pretty quickly.
“So many things that you think as a player about coaching and training, you might think ‘why’ or get frustrated, but to be on the other side of it certainly opened up my eyes to how hard the job is.”
For more on this story see the Back Page of The Advertiser, Thursday, September 26