Having planned the downfall of Cowra in the 2014 grand final, Kurt Hancock is now assisting Magpies premier league coach Steve Sutton in preparing for this week’s Group 10 decider.
Hancock coached Bathurst St Pat’s to victory over the Magpies in the decider four years ago, Pat’s winning 34-12 at Sid Kallas Oval after finishing the regular season as minor premiers.
The Western Rams under 16s coach has provided Sutton and the premier league playing group with an outsiders perspective this year.
Without giving away his secrets, Hancock said he had a “certain way” of preparing for games against Cowra.
“It worked the majority of the time, I think I lost two games coaching against Cowra in four years,” Kurt Hancock said.
“I think in 2014 when the 18s made it as well, Cowra surprised themselves a bit. There was probably too much buzz maybe. We were away from it all at Bathurst, relaxed, while Cowra had the weight on their shoulders.
“The playing group is a lot more mature now, that’s four years ago. There’s a lot of players in the squad from 2014 who might have lost all focus when the ball was kicked off that year.”
When Hancock finished his commitments with the junior Rams, he was quick to receive an offer by newly-appointed Cowra coach Steve Sutton, who was at the helm at Cowra when Hancock’s Pat’s won in 2014.
“At the end of the day I’m happy to lend a hand. They gave me a call once the Rams finished, it only took a phone call, to be honest if it was Lithgow who called me I would have helped, I’m passionate about footy,” he said.
“It’s been good working with Sutto, he’s a really good with player management. He’s comfortable with me running the water and giving direct messages. I have a bit of free range too. But he’s the boss, I’m happy doing whatever he needs me to do.”
Ahead of this week’s decider, Hancock’s belief is that the team who handles the day the best will win the competition. He said it’s important for Cowra to enjoy it and not lose focus of what’s worked all season.
“We spoke about it last night, nine times out of 10 in grand finals it comes down to who handles it best. By handling it you need to enjoy it, not go away from what’s worked all year and keep your head screwed on,” he said.
“It’s bush footy and it’s good to see a little community go so well. They always put in and always get the hard work done.”