Life in the good country

ALTHOUGH new in the area, recently appointed Border Districts Football Club coach Mark Good sees a lot of his past in his new club.

Coming with a vast amount of footballing experience, from SA Amateurs to the Adelaide Plains Football League and Barossa, Light and Gawler League, Good draws comparisons between the Eagles and the APFL's United Football Club - where he spent a large part of his footballing life.

United, like Borders, is a merged side from two smaller clubs - Dublin and Long Plains - which relies on drawing players from the larger surrounding area.

Good aimed to use that experience to work in with the footballing communities of Frances and Goroke as well as the various players who travel to play for the club.

"That's why I find myself familiar with Border Districts," he said. "I know the environment."

With this in mind Good aims to use his experience to get the best out of his players from all walks of life and parts of the region.

He said he could empathise with farmers and knows they have priorities outside of football, which will need to be balanced.

"I know the mindset of the farmers," he said. "I know when there's reaping or sowing or spraying - you need to do it."

While Borders have been big recruiters in the past - notably 2013 best and fairest Stuart Ferenci - Good said he would be looking to the local players as key ingredients.

"Imports are good," he said. "But I'm a big believer in looking after locals."

Good rates his reserves flag at United in 1999 as one of the best moments of his career because the side was all locals.

After his time at United, Good moved to a bigger league in the BLGFL - coaching first at Gawler Centrals and then Kapunda.

In 2013 he went out and coached at Hamley Bridge before coming to the SE.

"I'm really excited," he said about his appointment. "I can't wait for the season to start now."

He will take over the reins at Borders from long-time player Steve Pretlove, who the new coach spoke highly of.

"I respect and admire what he has done," Good said. "It was a very hard decision (by the club) because of Steve being such a great club person."

In terms of the playing list, Borders have lost a few, including key playmaker Brad Vallance.

"Losing Vallance is a big hit," Good said. "I've never seen him but he was a Rolls Royce by all accounts."

George McWaters, Jay Zeuner, Mark Lemon, Tom Wilson and Josh Barras are also confirmed outs.

But the club has recruited some too - including former Port Adelaide AFL and Central Districts SANFL midfielder Elijah Ware and Nyani Thomas - a half forward with SANFL experience at Port Adelaide and Glenelg.

Also coming in is strong-bodied inside midfielder Matt Good, the coach's son.

At just 17 years of age, Matt has played a good amount of A grade games among appearances for Central District's under 18 side.

Good said his son was suited to country football and should have an impact to complement what he has seen of the players at Borders.

His main aim for 2014 is to build consistency in the side, while also instilling a competitive game plan focussing on contested ball.

Borders will start their pre-season in January with sessions spread out between Frances and Goroke.

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