WHEN he took the role as senior coach at Horsham, Louie Dalziel always knew it would likely only be for one year.
Now, a season later, he will walk away from the game having led the club to a premiership in his final game in charge.
“We had a plan in place at the start of the year that I was going to coach and then Deek Roberts was going to be the next playing-coach to come in,” he said.
“We try to groom our leaders from within and I still think we have another three or four blokes in here who are potential leaders of the club.”
It was also a fairytale finish for Horsham favourite Luke Carr. Carr had the chance to celebrate his 350th and final game with a seventh premiership.
“It couldn’t get any better,” Carr said. “You couldn’t script it this way if you tried. I’m not going to taint it with another game ever.
“It was very tricky conditions out there and it was a big arm-wrestle for the whole day.”
Prior to the game, he spoke about wanting to share a premiership with Deek Roberts.
“It was great to be out there with him,” Carr said.
Roberts was equally pleased to get the job done in Carr’s final game.
“It is unreal,” he said. “Me and him have been through a lot together, so to win it with him just puts that cherry on top. He’s an absolute champion and it’s fitting that his last game is in a premiership.”
He said the whole team united and dug deep in the final quarter to get over the line.
“We just said that we’re going to throw everything and our body at it – and we did,” he said. “We had some fitness up our sleeves and we got it done. That is the most hard-fought win I’ve been involved in.”
Premiership captain Rhona Conboy was confident of his side’s chances before the game.
“We just wanted to play our style of footy,” he said. “If we did that, then we couldn’t go wrong.
“In that last quarter the wind was (Minyip-Murtoa’s) way but the boys stuck tough and still attacked the footy.
“They are just a bunch of legends.”
Ryan Kemp was also instrumental in his side’s win. The wingman made a habit of bobbing up in the right place at the right time and was awarded the best under-21 medal in the grand final.
“I just kept running all day. The ball fell into my hands a couple of times and I just got lucky,” he said. “I’ve played in a losing grand final and it wasn’t looking very good at three-quarter time.
“We come out and made a real gutsy effort. We kicked three or four goals in that quarter and got over the line.”