PAUL Truman is the new senior coach of Seaford United.
He fills the void left by Peter Schwellinger whose recent departure was unexpected.
Schwellinger had coached at Frankston Pines, Old Carey, Melton Phoenix and Whittlesea United before being appointed to the Seaford job in December 2020.
However he faced a demanding travel schedule and it eventually proved too much.
“I spent up to 10 hours a week in the car just to get to training and back home as I live in Pascoe Vale and work in Truganina,” Schwellinger said.
“To coach will cost me $150 dollars minimum per week on petrol and toll fees, not to mention the kilometres I put on my car and the extra car services.
“It’s a massive commitment and cost for me and the club’s offer simply wasn’t good enough.
“Plus I am at that stage where I have to look at work and life balance.”
Truman is believed to be the first head coach at Seaford to hold a UEFA A licence and has coached at South Dandenong (now Dandenong Thunder), Bentleigh Greens, Bulleen, Langwarrin and Mornington.
He has mainly worked in the NPL junior boys’ programs but he’s no stranger to the senior job at North Seaford Reserve.
“I actually stood in a long time ago for a friend of mine, Ian Hardie, who had to go overseas,” Truman said.
“I took the reins from him as an interim coach for a few weeks and there are people from that time who are still at the club which is good.”
Truman’s most recent appointment was as Mornington under-18s coach but when things didn’t work out at Dallas Brooks Park it didn’t take long for Seaford to pounce.
“I resigned at Mornington as there were things happening that I didn’t like and it just wasn’t for me and within a day or so I got a call from Seaford asking me if I might be interested.
“Football is my first love in sport and always has been so I wanted to get back involved as soon as possible.”
Truman’s first training session at Seaford for 2022 takes place tonight (Tuesday) and he’s keen to assess the players at his disposal.
“I don’t know a lot about the current players at Seaford as I’ve been out of the State League system for a while but I’ve been told they have a great balance of youth and experience and apparently before the lockdown last year they did very well.
“I’m hopeful of getting those boys back and adding a few if and when we need them.
“The first thing I’ll do is assess what I’ve got and see if we need anything.
“It may be that we don’t or it may be that we need to add a couple to what we’ve got.
“It’s only fair to give the boys who are there an opportunity to prove that they want to be there and to stay there and if they are good enough then that’s less of a headache for me as I won’t have to go looking around.
“But if I have to I can tap into contacts I already have and get some boys to come along.”
While Truman has not set specific long-term goals he acknowledges that he’s thought about the club’s State League status and what the future could hold.
“My short-term goal is to get to work with the players and put together a side that is competitive and can play some decent football.
“Look it’s no secret that you’re in State 4 not State 1 so you’d hope you’re on the verge of trying to get up a couple of leagues and competing at that level.
“We’ve got the Steve Wallace Cup coming up and I think that’s important.
“I knew Steve personally and I think all the local clubs should get behind this tournament as it’s for a good cause and it’s a good thing to be involved with.”
Meanwhile the inaugural Gippsland Cup kicks off later this month.
The three-day tournament is a joint venture between Eastern Lions and Destination Gippsland and features four teams: Eastern Lions (NPL1), Melbourne Victory (NPL3), Mornington (SL1) and a Latrobe Valley representative team.
At Gardiner’s Creek Reserve on Wednesday 26 January Eastern Lions play Melbourne Victory (3pm) and Mornington plays Latrobe Valley (5.30pm).
At Harold Preston Reserve in Traralgon on Friday 28 January Latrobe Valley plays Melbourne Victory at 6pm and Eastern Lions play Mornington at 8pm.
At Latrobe Valley Sports and Entertainment Stadium in Morwell on Saturday 29 January Eastern Lions play Latrobe Valley at 1pm and Melbourne Victory plays Mornington at 4.30pm.