Richard Mitchell
Richard Mitchell Ron Burgin

Mitchell named new Spirit coach

RICHARD Mitchell will be the man entrusted with restoring the faith in Bundaberg Spirit after it was announced he would coach the team in 2010.

After three years behind the scenes of Bundaberg Spirit, Mitchell will finally have a chance to make an impact from the sidelines after Greg Bath announced his appointment at a media conference yesterday.

“I’m excited about the possibility,” Mitchell said.

“A coach like a player wants to coach at the highest level and QSL (Queensland State League) is the highest level.”

Mitchell arrived in Bundaberg three years ago as development officer for Football Bundaberg.

He was a seminal part of the Bundaberg Spirit process from its inception in 2008, operating as director as coaching, but Lynn Hodgkinson was named the inaugural coach.

“I was trying to develop junior programs and a lot of those programs are established now, Mitchell said.

After Hodgkinson left Spirit last year Mitchell was the interim coach until Brett Hambrecht was named as the head coach for the remainder of the season.

Hambrecht did not re-apply for the role again next season because he had work commitments in regional Queensland.

Now Mitchell will be challenged to reverse the fortunes of Spirit after two testing years in the state’s premier competition.

Spirit did not win a game last season and have been unable to escape the QSL cellar in the team’s two season in the league.

“Everyone loves a winner,” Mitchell said.

“I think we can put together a strong season this season.

“We need to get that mix of experience and youth (players) in the line-up.”

Mitchell hopes Spirit veterans who left the team last season would return for 2011.

But, regardless of the rosters, he has no misapprehensions about the task ahead of him.

“They may call me Mr Magic but I’m under no illusion of the magnitude of the job,” he said.

A coach for the new under-19 Spirit team is set to be announced by the end of the week.

Training for both squads will start in the new year.

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