Hepburn champ keeps control

Clive Raak will continue as the Central Highlands Football League’s senior representative coach.

This follows a decision by the CHFL board to extend his tenure.

We had probably 60 per cent of the play and the footy and we just couldn't put them away.

Clive Raak - CHFL interleague coach
Clive Raak

Clive Raak

Raak led the Highlanders to a heartbreaking four-point defeat at the hands of Geelong and District in his first year in the job during 2016.

That loss was the CHFL’s first since reinstating interleague football in 2012.

Raak said he was driven to have another shot at coaching the league’s representative side following the heartbreaking loss during last year.

“The disappointment from last year probably has spurred me on to go again,” Raak said.  

“It was a situation where we were struggling around goals and it cost us the game, we had probably 60 per cent of the play and the footy and we just couldn't put them away.” 

Raak will get a chance for redemption later this year when the Highlanders take on the Southern league in May.

Raak, a premiership player and coach with Hepburn, is the third man to occupy the helm since the league’s return to senior representative football.

He followed Shane Skontra and Greg Middleton into the role after a couple of stints as an assistant.

Raak said while he was lucky to have a strong core group of players who were keen to again ply their trade in representative football, he would expand the selection process to ensure the best 22 were chosen.  

“We’re thinking we will probably start with a bigger pool than last year, so where we invited 42 players to train last year we will hopefully have around 50 this time,” Raak said.  

“The ground we're playing on (against the Southern League) will be a bigger oval so we will try and train on a larger ground to get used to those conditions.” 

Held across the weekend of May 13-14, a total of 32 country and metropolitan leagues will clash in the AFL Victoria Community Championship.