Brookers re-sign skipper

Matthew Sharp will coach Holbrook for a fifth consecutive year in 2022. Photo: Taylah Schirmer Photography.

Matthew Sharp will coach the Holbrook Brookers for a fifth year in 2022 after the loyal coach signed on the dotted line with the Green and Golds. 

Holbrook have only lost the one game in 2021, and look to have a firm hold on a top-two finish leading into the Hume League finals. 

The 35-year-old explained that he was always keen to take on the coaching role again, but highlighted that it was a ‘Monday to Sunday job’ that required a lot of his time. 

“It was an easy decision but I did have to weigh up a little bit in regards to the personal life; it’s not just a Tuesday and Thursday job,” Sharp said. 

“We have a list of 55 players and every one of those players deserve some sort of attention; it’s definitely a Monday to Sunday job.”

Sharp, who is chasing an elusive premiership with the Brookers after the club finished third in 2018 and fifth in 2019, said his passion for the Green and Gold colours was the motivating factor to stay on as coach.

“In terms of my love for the club, the playing group and what the club is about, it certainly was not a hard to decision to coach Holbrook again,” Sharp said. 

The challenge of moulding a young playing group into a bunch of premiership winners was also eating away at Sharp, who praised the Holbrook club for their focus on raising local talent.

“Obviously the points system is a massive part of footy these days, and normally you just have to pick some locals because of points factors, but our one-point local players all earn their spots and we are lucky enough we have talented kids, which makes my decision easier to play them,” Sharp said. 

“The club had their turn down the bottom there for three or four years but the junior system is always strong at Holbrook. “The committee would be happy after putting all the time and effort off the field to get these juniors playing good footy.”

With the Hume League again up in the air this weekend, with the Victorian Covid-19 lockdown forcing last Saturday’s games to be abandoned, Sharp said his playing group were still preparing for a tough game against Howlong on Saturday.

“From our side of things, we haven’t been challenged since playing Osborne but Howlong in the wet will be challenging – they challenged us last time with their big bodies,” Sharp said. 

Holbrook then play Rand-Walbundrie-Walla on July 31 before a huge round 16 clash against the top of the table and unbeaten Osborne Tigers in Osborne on August 7. 

The Brookers went down to the Tigers 16.8-104 to 8.5-53 back in round five and Sharp said his side was confident they could turn that result around. 

“We were lucky enough to have the game filmed last time and we got to sit down and watch it as a group,” Sharp said. 

“We had an open conversation and there was no holding back and the guys held each other accountable and I was able to show them that the littlest mistake can cost a goal.

“My take is that when we played them, we should have gone into half time one goal up but we went in three down after little mistakes.”

Sharp believed Holbrook would use this to their advantage when playing Osborne for top spot.

“It’s the little things Osborne take advantage of and if we can be consistent for longer periods of time, we can be in the contest,” Sharp said. 

“We will not be shying away from the challenge.”