By: Daniel Cencic
The East Burwood Football Club has welcomed club-great Stuart Wynd back as senior coach for 2018.
The 44-year-old played over 300 games in the EFL, and kicked over 1000 goals in a career spanning across four clubs, including East Burwood, Warrandyte, Knox and Forest Hill.
Wynd is a dual premiership player with the Rams, playing in the club’s 1999 and 2000 flags.
PICTURE: Herald Sun/Leader Newspapers
Wynd, who coached Knox’s reserves this year, is rapt to be back at his original club and believes the time is right to return to help the former Division 1 powerhouse as it embarks on Division 4 footy in season 2018.
“It’s a great footy club and I love the club,” Wynd said.
“I thought it was a good time to go back and help them out and try to get back to winning games of footy.
“(East Burwood has) been really low on numbers in the last few years so we just need to get as many young guys back to the footy club as we can.
“A lot of the juniors have left and have gone elsewhere so we’re going to try and entice a few of them back.
“We’ve got a couple of good junior sides coming up as well so hopefully we can develop them into good senior players.”
Wynd brings with him long-time friend and former team-mate Adam Slater, a four-time best and fairest winner, 2000 premiership player and hall of famer at the Rams, where he will serve as the club’s senior assistant and chairman of selectors.
Alongside Slater, Scott Hunter will work as senior assistant and head of fitness, having played over 100 games for the Rams and coached at all levels in the EFL.
Dual premiership player Luke Slater will serve as head of recruitment, having played over 150 games for the club, where he also coached the reserves to a flag in 2005, and held the senior role in 2006.
“Adam’s a good mate of mine and he’s pretty much followed me wherever I’ve gone after I left East Burwood years ago,” Wynd said.
“It’s good to get some of the old guys back in Luke as well and Scotty.
“Hopefully we can bring a bit of excitement back to the club and get the place buzzing again.”
Wynd played under current St.Kilda coach Alan Richardson, who coached the Rams to back-to-back flags in 1999 and 2000.
Wynd cites Richardson as having had a great influence over his coaching style.
“I remember when I first got the Knox job in 2006, Alan was the guy I went to for help and advice,” he said.
“(Alan) was really instrumental and the way he coached, I’ve modelled a lot of my coaching on over the years.
“He was just a guy that players loved to play for, and we would have done anything to win games of footy for ‘Richo’.
“He certainly helped me.”
Wynd says the opportunity to coach at senior level again was too good to refuse.
“It’s sort of come about in the last few weeks,” he said.
“It was probably a few years ago where I was coaching the twos, there may have been an opportunity to do it then, but it didn’t pan out.
“But I guess there’s nothing like coaching senior footy and the opportunity came up, and I took it with both hands, that’s for sure.”
With East Burwood relegated to Division 4 for 2018 after registering only one draw for the 2017 season, the 2007 Knox senior premiership coach is under no illusions of the task at hand.
“Every side I’ve coached has been reasonably successful – I think I know how to build a side and get the best out of the players that I coach,” Wynd said.
“I still know quite a few players so I’d like to think I can get the best out of them.
“We just need to develop our kids.
“That’s the secret to success with the salary cap points system – you need to develop kids as much as you can.”