QUEANBEYAN City FC returned to pre-season training last week under new leadership for the first time since 2010 following the appointment of coach Jeremy Butler.
The 35-year-old takes over the coaching reins from Vlatko Tomeski who will not continue in the role, bringing to an end his three-year tenure at the helm.
Butler joins Queanbeyan on the back of short-lived coaching stint with ACT Premier League side Tuggeranong United last year. A Tuggeranong junior and club captain, Butler was unceremoniously sacked midseason after clashing with the club committee.
But Tuggeranong’s loss has proven to be Queanbeyan’s gain with the State League side swooping on the opportunity to bring the experienced former first-grader on board for 2013.
“When everything at Tuggeranong fell apart last year I was still keen on coaching and Queanbeyan heard I was available and got in touch with me,” Butler said. “The club seemed like a good fit for me and I think the direction they want to go will fit in with my style.”
Butler will be out to ensure Queanbeyan continues to enjoy the on-field success the club has become accustomed to in recent years. Under Tomeski’s guidance, the State League 1 outfit qualified for two grand final appearances in three years.
But of even greater importance will be building the club toward its long-held ambition of returning to top flight Premier League competition.
“When Queanbeyan appointed me the committee said to me that their number one aim was not necessarily to go out and win the competition this year,” Butler said. “They understand there’s a bigger picture involved and the carrot there of playing in the ACT Premier League which is the club’s ultimate goal.
“It’s about setting up a sustainable model of football that will enable the club to realise its dream of getting back into the Premier League within three years.”
Queanbeyan’s first test under Butler’s stewardship will come in the annual MACO Cup before the club attempts to defend its Mayor’s Cup crown against cross-town rivals the Monaro Panthers.