Nedlands, the 2014 WA Premier Club Champion, is delighted to announce the appointment of former Western Force skipper Luke “Dogga” Doherty as Premier Grade head coach for the upcoming 2015 season. Luke will be assisted by former Western Force assistant coach Tom Fearn in one of the most experienced coaching combinations fielded by the club.
Luke was an inaugural member of the Western Force and has also represented Queensland Reds and NSW Waratahs in Super rugby. He has also played professional rugby in Japan and Italy and represented Australia at under-19 and under-21 level.
Luke’s playing career for Neddies included the 2013 Premier Grade premiership victory.
His assistant Tom Fearn is one of Neddies’ favourite sons. As a player, Tom won a nine premierships, including a record six in Premier Grade. Tom represented Western Australia against the All Blacks, Springboks, Wales and Ireland. Tom’s coaching record at club level is unrivalled, winning a total of five Premier Grade premierships for Neddies and Wests. This record was the springboard for Tom’s professional coaching career, which has included roles with the Western Force and several stints coaching professionally in Japan. Tom will also be manager of the unbeaten Neddies under-10s on their upcoming Singapore tour.
Neddies President Peter Malcolm said he was delighted to have such an experienced coaching duo in charge of the Premier Grade team in 2015, as Neddies looks to extend its remarkable record of 32 consecutive years in the finals.
“This clearly demonstrates our commitment to excellence in coaching at Neddies,” said Peter. “We also see the appointments of Luke and Tom as a significant step in the Colts development program we initiated at Neddies this season. In 2014, nine of our Colts got an opportunity to play in our Premier Grade team and we look forward to giving many other talented young players the same opportunity in 2015.”
NEW RESERVE GRADE COACHES
Nedlands is also delighted to announce that “Aussie” Bob Somerville and Dave McKnight are the new Reserve Grade coaches for the 2015 season.
Aussie Bob is a 25 year veteran at Nedlands having originally hailed from Queensland’s Teachers North club. He has played 260+ club games for Neddies from Premier Grade through to the 5th Grade Nomads, and has been lucky to have played in and won a few Grand Finals throughout the grades. Aussie Bob, who began his coaching career with the Colts, steps up to Reserve Grade after a stellar few years with the Thirsty Thirds, where he was involved in four of the past five Grand Final victories.
Dave McKnight arrived at Neddies in 1980 to play, winning a premiership in 1981 with the Third Grade and captaining the 5th Grade Grand Final team in 1991. He began coaching in 1986 and has coached all Nedlands grades to premiership success. He has nine years Premier Grade coaching experience for five Grand Final appearances and two Premiership wins. Dave was granted Life Membership of Nedlands in 1994, and in 2003 was awarded the ARU Volunteer of the Decade medallion for services to rugby coaching. Dave is an ARU Level 3 coach and was appointed Director of Rugby at Nedlands in 2014 and will continue in this role while assisting with Reserve Grade in 2015.
President Peter Malcolm said Aussie Bob and Dave were both passionate about their rugby and believed that a successful team is only created after a lot of hard work and commitment to the team by the players. “Developing a strong team culture is essential, and Bob and Dave’s goal is to build Neddies Reserve Grade back to being a great side where they can be rightly proud of their achievements and truly support the Premier Grade.”