Steve McLellan has a pretty simple goal he wants to achieve after taking over as president at Dubbo Westside.
McLellan went into the top role at the Group 11 club’s recent AGM, taking the reins from Chad Parkes.
“Ultimately when I step away I want the place to be in a better shape than when I started. That’s my aim,” he said.
When I step away I want the place to be in a better shape than when I started.Steve McLellan
While that is the aim, McLellan knows it is much easier said than done.
Someone all too familiar with the goings on in Group 11, McLellan was briefly president of Macquarie during a long association with the Raiders.
He linked up with Westside last season and assisted in coaching, before stepping up to the top role now.
“If you want to drive change then this is the spot to be,” he said.
The new president is all too aware of the challenges at the club, the biggest one being the fact the Rabbitohs work with arguably the smallest budget in the competition.
McLellan isn’t setting any lofty goals of Group 11 finals in 2019 but he has a three-year plan and is determined to bring more to the club both on and off the field.
One of the major things brought in is a new-look board structure, with designated roles and sub-committees to ensure things on game day and any other day run smoothly.
“Rather than say a vice president, there will be someone looking after game day management and then there’s sub-committees which will support the executive,” he said.
“I was quite happy to see people put their hand up (at the AGM) and if we can get this right then it will lessen the workload on those few who have been doing it.
“If you get the administration right everything else falls into place. I’m a great believer in the off-field things having to be to be good and you’ve got to get it right.”
That’s not a new statement from Westside but it’s one McLellan really believes in.
Previous board members have stated the need to have the off-field management in order and while improvement has been made in recent times McLellan says things like the executive structure and sponsorship needs to be improved.
Making that development will take time and McLellan hinted Rabbtohs fans shouldn’t get too excited about potential marquee signings just yet.
There is also unlikely to be any new big-name coach after it was revealed Claude Gordon was departing the club to link up with the Cowra Magpies in Group 10.
“We’re not in a position to open the chequebook,” McLellan said.
“We’ve got to get on with what we’ve got and be strategic. If we can pick up a player or two then it’s a bonus.
“We’ll put it out there and we can give people the opportunity to play first grade. They can get that chance with us.”
There’s also no hard feelings about the club around Gordon’s departure.
“He’ll be a massive loss. He a did a good job and a lot of the on-field stuff improved,” McLellan said.
“He left with our blessing.”
Gordon’s 2018 co-coach Matt Naden will be offered the chance to go it alone in 2019 and McLellan said he hopes to have coaches appointed soon.