By ZAC MILBANK
New West Adelaide coach Brad Gotch will bring a strong development focus to Richmond after signing on as senior coach for the next two seasons.
Having been in a player and coaching development role with AFL club Collingwood since 2017, Gotch will also aim to replicate the improvement he instigated in his three years coaching South Adelaide from 2014 to 2016.
Speaking on SANFL Radio, the 58-year-old said he was keen to foster links with the Bloods’ Riverland region as he did successfully with the Panthers to create an eagerness for teenagers to strive to play SANFL.
Noting a core of locally-produced Panthers propelled South into this year’s Preliminary Final, Gotch is hopeful of putting the Bloods on a similar path to success.
In his three seasons with South, Gotch steered the Panthers into the 2014 Preliminary Final while finishing two percent behind minor premier Woodville-West Torrens in 2016.
At least four of West’s 2015 premiership side are eager to be a part of Gotch’s reign at Hisense Stadium, with captain Tom Keough and the returning Jono Beech announced as inking deals while Logan Hill and Kaine Stevens have also been in contact with the club’s new mentor.
Talented key position utility Sam Durdin is also on Gotch’s radar, after the 24-year-old was delisted by North Melbourne at the end of the season.
Bloods premiership defender Adam Hartlett will return to the club as the defensive coach after spending last season as an assistant at Glenelg under premiership mentor Mark Stone.
Currently in Victoria, Gotch will relocate to Adelaide where he can be closer to his son Xavier and his two grandchildren while his wife Michelle will likely transition to SA during the next 12 to 18 months.