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Otto takes Rams reins
Otto takes Rams reins

New Rockingham Rams coach Craig Otto insists the pain of missing the club’s only Peel Football League premiership in his playing days will not provide any personal motivation in his new role.

Otto, who stepped into the top job last week, suffered a shoulder injury a month out from the 1997 grand final, which Rockingham went on to win by 54 points.

While conceding it was difficult to be on the sidelines at the time, Otto denied those memories would have any bearing on how he approached his new role.

“To be honest, at the time it really killed me, but it was 15 years ago and I’m not going to get hung up on things like that,” he said.

“So there’s no added incentive there — it’s a new bunch of guys and they’ve got to make their own destiny.

“I’ve got my chance to return to the club and I’m looking forward to it.”

Rockingham recently parted ways on a mutual basis with Sean Wrigley, who guided the club to consecutive grand finals in 2011 and 2012.

A triple colts premiership coach and Rams league coach from 2001-2003, Otto has spent the past three seasons with Peel Thunder’s development squad and colts sides.

His return to Anniversary Park comes in the wake of last season’s narrow grand final loss to Waroona.

With the 2013 season still about five months away, Otto would not be drawn on Rockingham’s grand final prospects, but indicated a top-three finish was in his sights.

“We just want to consolidate a top-three berth, get that double chance and go from there,” he said.

“You don’t want to be throwing the idea of premierships straight at the boys before they return, but we’re definitely aiming for a top-three finish and hoping to have a crack at a flag.

“The window of opportunity (for a premiership) is absolutely there.”

Asked what qualities he hoped to bring from Peel to Rockingham, Otto replied: “The professional environment I’ve been involved in the last few years is something I’ll try to bring back to an extent.

“There’s a few little things we need to change and training culture is one thing on that list – the onfield success last year was fantastic, but from what I believe, the training got a bit poor as the year went on.

“So there’s a couple of little things we need to tinker with.”

Rockingham will launch pre-season training next Monday and Wednesday, with sessions on Wednesday and Friday the following week.