The Waves coach Jason De Papi. Wide Bay League grand final: United Warriors v The Waves at Hervey Bay Sports Club.
The Waves coach Jason De Papi. Wide Bay League grand final: United Warriors v The Waves at Hervey Bay Sports Club. Matthew McInerney

Brillante takes over at The Waves

FOOTBALL: He's developed some of the best juniors to ever come out of Bundaberg and now John Brillante wants to help the seniors at The Waves.

The NewsMail can exclusively reveal that Brillante will be the coach of the side in next year's Wide Bay Premier League, taking over from Jason De Papi who was in the role since 2013.

But De Papi won't be lost to the club, he is still around as the assistant coach.

Brillante has run the junior development program at the club since 2016 and feels now is the right time to transition.

He is also the father of Josh who plays for Sydney FC.

"Being involved with the club for so long, I've always wanted to be involved with the senior setup,” he said.

"I've just been waiting to get involved when the time came for it to happen.

"It seemed to be the good time and I didn't force anyone out.”

Brillante insists De Papi won't be lost to the club at all, instead it will be more of a joint partnership.

He said he was still involved in juniors for the first part of the season before fully committing to seniors.

"It will be a matter of getting the right people in place to start the process to follow the program,” he said.

"That will take the most part of the first half of the season before it rolls into place.

"So I'll be looking to Jason to help with the running of the club, I'll also learn from him too as he has plenty of years as a coach.”

Brillante said the goal was simple with him and De Papi at the club.

This season in the Wide Bay Premier League the side missed the finals for the first time in the top competition for years.

Brillante wants to change that.

"The focus for next year is making the top four,” he said.

"It was very unusual we didn't make it last year, so top four at least has to be goal.”

Brillante believes the team is almost there to make it already and feels they were unlucky not to make top four this season. "I still think the team is competitive, we just lost points because of a lack of concentration in games,” he said.

"We should have easily secured that spot earlier if we won those matches.”

Brillante is also buoyed by the Wide Bay League 2 success of this year's team, who won the grand final, and said those players would help the side get on top again.

The club is currently training for next season every Wednesday night at 6.30pm with new players welcome.



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