Merkel set to lead

A GRADE COACH: Steven Merkel has been appointed coach for Crystal Brook Football Club's A Grade team. Merkel coached junior colts as well as being assistant A Grade coach and was made life member of the club this year.
A GRADE COACH: Steven Merkel has been appointed coach for Crystal Brook Football Club's A Grade team. Merkel coached junior colts as well as being assistant A Grade coach and was made life member of the club this year.

STEVEN Merkel is ready to steer Crystal Brook’s A Grade side through season 2019 after being appointed coach.

Merkel coached the Roosters’ Junior Colts side last season, as well as being assistant A Grade coach. He has previously coached B Grade, leading them to two premierships in 2012 and 2013. 

Speaking to The Flinders News about his appointment, he said he had thought about the role for a while.

“It was now or never,” he said.

“I thought if I’m ever going to do it, do it now.”

He said the decision to take up the coaching role was easier to make as the Roosters had a great team.

Merkel started playing senior football for Crystal Brook in 1988, half a season of B Grade, and then made the leap to A Grade in 1989 until his last season in 2009 and then as playing coach for B Grade. 

For his family, Saturdays have developed into a whole day for the Merkels with sons Sam and Tom playing football and Lily just playing her first season of netball. His wife, Jacqui, has also been involved in netball. 

Merkel takes over coaching duties from playing coach Luke Slattery who steered the Roosters to victory against Orroroo in September.

Merkel praised Slattery, describing him as a “great bloke”. Slattery and Luke Kapitola are expected to be instrumental leaders on the field next season, as they have been previously.