Mortlake Dispatch
Kenna to lead Bloods in 2020

NEW Terang Mortlake senior football coach Ben Kenna admits the timing felt right for him to make a return to coaching.

A multiple premiership player with the Bloods, Kenna was announced as the club’s leader for season 2020 on Monday.

He takes on the role following a decorated playing career at both Terang Mortlake and Kolora Noorat, the latter which he coached for six seasons.

He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the group, having led the Power to its maiden premiership in 2009, which was then backed up with flags in 2010 and 2011.

Kenna also guided Kolora Noorat to within a kick of a fourth successive premiership in 2012, with the Power falling four points short of Panmure.

The side then reached the preliminary final in 2013 and finished sixth in 2014 in his final two years at the helm, before he remained at the Power until the end of 2018, featuring in the club’s 2017 premiership.

Kenna returned to the Bloods this season with son Isaac, mixing appearances in the reserves with a handful of senior games.

“To get the opportunity now after 10 years away, the timing felt right for me,” he said.

“I’ve finished playing now so I can concentrate on coaching solely I suppose. The offer was put to me a few weeks ago and I thought about it and I thought ‘why not give it a go’.

“I did six years at the Power and I enjoyed every year I done it. There was success early but then there wasn’t so much at the end but I still enjoyed the last few years as well.

“I reckon at the right time and at the right club it was always in the back of my mind to do it (coach) again.”

Kenna said he was looking forward to the challenge of trying to push the Bloods back up the ladder.

“I’m excited because this year they probably had a slightly disappointing year but I think there is only improvement in them,” he said.

“They pushed sides for two and a half quarters in a lot of the games I watched them play throughout the year but they’d just have a poor quarter here and there and lose a bit of confidence.

“If we can improve a few parts of their game, like tidying up their skills and decision making, I think we can get some improvement.

“And if we bring in some new recruits and a few more younger players then I think we can go back upwards hopefully.”

As for where the Bloods’ improvement will come from, Kenna is eager to continue the work of outgoing mentor Michael Sargeant in blooding and developing the club’s youth.

He said he also wanted to build the club’s depth and create pressure on places in the senior line-up, something he felt they lacked this year.

“Sometimes the advantage of having a season that is not so good is you do get more games into those players,” Kenna said.

“The last three years Sarge I think has debuted 25 odd players, some of them have only played 10 games and some might have played 30.

“But if you get another 10 to 15 games into them next year and get their confidence up and add a bit more personnel and depth across the two grades that will really help everybody too.”