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Rawlings relishing new role

Matt Burgan  December 22, 2017 5:05 PM

Inside Casey: Jade Rawlings Jade Rawlings explains the development made in Casey for the future of the Melbourne Football Club

NEW Casey Demons coach Jade Rawlings says he is relishing the opportunity to lead his own side and couldn’t be more passionate about the role.

Rawlings and former Casey coach Justin Plapp, who guided the club for three seasons, switched over the off-season.

Plapp transitioned into the Melbourne coaching staff full-time, while Rawlings, who has been with the red and blue’s coaching staff since September 2011, moved to the senior coaching position at Casey.

The experienced coach said he couldn’t have asked for a better start.

“I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve had at the club so far,” he told melbournefc.com.au

“Justin Plapp, in particular, has done a great job in setting this place up and bringing in some good characters and players. We’ve been able to retain a lot and bring in some new faces as well.

“I’ve been really pleased with the combination of the players and the staff, who have really embraced the program and have a passion for the club, so I’ve been really pleased.”

It was a busy off-season for Rawlings, as he was also in the mix for the Gold Coast Suns senior coaching role.

Rawlings, who has completed the AFL coaching accreditation course (level four), said there was “a bit in it” after his 2017 season completed.  

“I hadn’t planned to do too much, but then the Gold Coast process I was part of for a certain stage and it didn’t go my way. But in the background, in the review of the season, the opportunity to coach Casey was presented to me and I felt really privileged that the club saw me fit to do the job,” he said.

“I’ve done the job before, 10 years ago, in the VFL, so it’s interesting how it goes around and comes back. It’s something that I’ve really been passionate about in the past. I had a great time doing it in 2008 [with the Coburg Tigers] and all of the feelings of doing that job back then have reemerged.

“I have a healthy respect for the VFL, and the other part is the capacity to influence a big component of our list and they’ll hopefully go up and play really well in the AFL. It’s a role that I’m really familiar with, but I’m really passionate as well.”