NEW COACH: Adrian Elmes has stepped into the head coaching role of the Wide Bay Buccnaeers for the rest of the season.
NEW COACH: Adrian Elmes has stepped into the head coaching role of the Wide Bay Buccnaeers for the rest of the season. Matthew McInerney

Buccs' coach appointment part of total club overhaul

FOOTBALL: Adrian Elmes will lead a complete overhaul of Wide Bay Buccaneers just seven weeks into its inaugural Football Queensland Premier League campaign.

All players and coaches were invited to attend an emergency club meeting at Hervey Bay RSL on Thursday night to announce changes to the Wide Bay's coaching structure.

Elmes will leave his post as under-14s coach to take control of the FQPL side for the rest of the season, in one of several changes to the Buccaneers' coaching set-up.

Wide Bay League 2 premiership-winning coach Andre Lambton will return from a short-lived coaching retirement to lead the U14s, while U13s coach Connor Gordon's role will expand to include the Skills Acquisition Program, which is tailored for players aged from nine to 12-years-old.

The biggest change is the appointment of Elmes, who will step into the position vacated by foundation coach Tim Lunnon, who was sacked after the Buccaneers' third game.

Elmes first coached a team in 1993, spent time in National Premier Leagues club Brisbane City's junior system, and most recently led Fraser Flames for three years.

In taking on the FQPL role he faces the toughest challenge in Queensland football: how do you take a side that has conceded 38 goals in six straight losses - 16 of those in the past fortnight - and mould it into a side that can not only be competitive, but win games?

"When the opportunity came about I expressed interest. We spoke to the board about what is feasible," he said,

"A lot of good coaches from outside the region were interested but they were looking for a package we couldn't provide."

Elmes' immediate plan is to consult Lunnon, interim coaches Steve Bates and Kieran McKean, and visa player Ben Brookfield to gain a better understanding of how the senior squad has worked and developed in its first few months.

"I'll talk to the senior team individually about what is and isn't working and what they want to achieve, then I'll collate that information and make plans for the year," he said.

"I'm not going to come in and say this is how we're going to play. I want everyone to have a say, we want that buy-in from the players."

Elmes' unofficial target is to finish the season with 10 competition points, and the squad will have a chance to claim its first point in next Saturday's game against Mitchelton FC.

"I'm happy to work to that (10-point goal) but we need that buy-in," he said.

In other changes, Sunbury stalwart David Chapman will act as a "senior liaison officer" who will attend match days and identify local coaches and players who may form part of the Buccaneers' future.

McKean will revert to his role as U20s coach, while he, Elmes and Peter Guest will run the U18s team after Brookfield stepped away from the role.



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