Swan to fly west for AFL
By MITCHELL DALE
COFFS Swans player-coach Peter Yandle is taking a leaf out of the Village People's book.
Don't get the wrong idea... he's not following their lead in that way.
Yandle is going west.
After two years in Coffs Harbour as Swans first grade player-coach and North Coast AFL development officer, Yandle will take up a new post in Central West NSW.
But Yandle reckons he couldn't have picked a worse time to fly from the Swans' pond.
After the red and whites endured an indifferent 2004 season, Yandle predicted a renaissance next year.
He believes the Swans are on the cusp of something special.
"The club is well set up for the future now," he said.
"They were basically in financial ruins last year, but things are looking a lot better now and the club will try to attract a few players next year.
"A couple of good players have blown into town, too, so the club is heading in the right direction.
"It's a bit sad that I won't be around to see, but I think the 1800km round trip is a bit far to travel for a game."
The Swans have already replaced Yandle at the helm, with dual League best and fairest and Swans flag-winning coach Jeff Reed returning to the fold.
Yandle is excited about his new prospects.
"The Central West is very much an untapped area, so it is a great opportunity to try and get things up and running and expand the game out there," Yandle said.
"It will be a good challenge trying to build the sport in a traditional rugby league region.
"It will be very hard to leave, but the move has been in the wings for a few months.
"My wife, Nicole, has family out that way, so we will have some social support."