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Meet Travis McCarty – Roxburgh Park Senior Coach

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

By Adem Saricaoglu

WEDNESDAY night preseason training at Roxburgh Park’s bottom oval at Lakeside Drive is lively with about 35 or so young footballers on the track.

Sherrins are flying everywhere and the talk is up. 

A Round 1 date with fellow 2016 finalist Moonee Valley is a mere 45 days away.

Taking it all in from behind the fence is their brand new senior coach, Travis McCarty. 

Only minutes earlier he addressed his new playing group for the first time.

“I felt that I needed to make a statement in a sense that I’m coming over here to commit and the talk outside the club has been negative,” the new Magpies coach explained. 

“There are accusations of little rumblings inside the club but tonight was not only about meeting the guys. It was about making a statement to them to say that I’ve come here to commit.”

McCarty put pen to paper with Roxburgh Park on Tuesday, giving up an assistant role under former Oak Park coach and friend Ben Chapman at Northern Football League outfit, Thomastown.

“It was a tough decision for me to leave Thomastown but I’m committing to Roxburgh Park, so I expect every single player that wants to play for Roxburgh Park to commit with me and give to the footy club,” McCarty said. 

“At the end of the day, it’s about the footy club, not necessarily the individuals.

“Looking at this group here tonight, they’re committed.”

The challenge that McCarty is now facing was the same one Paul Derrick was preparing to deal with since last year’s heartbreaking Grand Final loss to East Keilor.

The Magpies have arguably been the best, most consistent team in Strathmore Community Bank Division 2 three years running.

Two Grand Final losses and a surprise straight sets exit from the finals in 2015 with one of the best playing lists in the division left the pundits questioning if the Magpies had under-achieved with Derrick at the helm.

In two years they have lost Matt Walker (Glenroy), Luke Capuano (Glenroy) and following Derrick’s recent departure as senior coach, Brad Dimech (Westmeadows). 

And as recently as last night, an outgoing clearance was lodged for young livewire Jaidyn Caruana to RDFL club, Romsey.

While new recruits will help fill the void, the division looks as though it’ll be dominated by a rejuvenated, Cameron Cloke-led Jacana and the recently relegated Northern Saints, who in 2014 defeated Aberfeldie up in Premier Division.

“Losing three or four pretty good footballers isn’t going to help, but there is great depth at Roxburgh Park,” McCarty said. 

“The club’s been up for three years but should it come back down? I don’t think so. 

“I don’t believe any club needs to go back down, but there will be a transition between what happened in the last three years compared to what could and may happen this year. 

“It could take some time to understand the game plan and structures we’re going to put in place, but my expectation for the group is to fully commit to what we’re doing.” 


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