Leoncini ready to lead at Clunes

Johno Leoncini

Johno Leoncini

Johno Leoncini admits he was disappointed to miss out on the Hepburn job, but believes his season with the Burras has set him up nicely for his first senior coaching role.

Leoncini has been locked in as Clunes’ senior coach for the next two years and has wasted no time planning for the 2018 Central Highlands Football League campaign.

The non-playing leader missed out on becoming Jason Olver’s successor at the Burras after serving as his assistant during the premiership-winning year of 2017.

Leoncini had been touted by Olver as the man likely to take over the role.

“I’m happy for him to coach in 2017, he just doesn’t feel quite ready to do that,” Olver said in September last year.

“I’ll go another season and hopefully this time next year he can be announced as our senior coach.”

Leoncini said he respected the club’s decision to look elsewhere after he went through the interview process.

“I was disappointed. You put your heart and your soul into everything because that’s me. I don’t go into something half-hearted. I’m 100 per cent or just don’t do it,” Leoncini said.

“But in saying that, I was always told that you had to go through the correct procedures. That’s life. Nowadays, any job that you have and it gets re-advertised you are going to have to apply for it as well.

“I was, for sure, upset, but in life one door shuts and another one opens. I’ve got to look at that as a positive.”

Leoncini said he met some great people and really enjoyed his time at Hepburn.

He said he was excited by the opportunity at Clunes, which is out to improve on a number of poor campaigns. “As I’ve always said, no club, no community. And no community, no club. So it’s really important that we combine all of that and work together. It’s also with the netball as well,” he said.

“It’s a challenge, absolutely. Do we have a goal? I don’t know. The most important thing is to just get respect back in the league.”