Colin Macaffer will replace Tom Eckel as the head coach of the Stawell Warriors senior football team for the 2018 Wimmera Football League season.
Damian Joiner will work under Macaffer as a playing assistant coach.
Eckel coached the Warriors for the 2017 season but will stand down to let the experienced Macaffer take the reigns next year.
He will play on at Stawell and remain involved as a leader within the young group.
Macaffer brings years of experience to the position from a cast of different roles.
The 56-year-old retired police officer’s most recent stint was with the Kaniva Football Club where he worked both as an assistant and senior coach.
He has also been involved as an assistant at the Gippsland Power TAC Cup team in the past and coached his son, Brent Macaffer, who went on to play in Collingwood’s 2010 AFL premiership.
Macaffer said he is looking forward to taking charge of the young Stawell team.
“I had a look at the club in 2017 and from what I saw I was excited,” he said.
“I think the club is in good shape. With a little bit of tinkering and with the assistance of Damian, we can take the club a little bit further in 2018 and be a bit more competitive.”
Stawell finished fifth in the 2017 Wimmera Football League and suffered an elimination final loss to the Horsham Saints.
Macaffer believes his experience as a coach over a long period of time will help develop the young talent down at Central Park.
I had a look at the club in 2017 and from what I saw I was excitedColin Macaffer
“I think I bring to the club, I won’t say success because that’s what we are after, but I bring experience,” he said.
“I love to coach kids under 25 and teach them, harness what they’ve got, teach them how to focus, give them roles, game plans and things of that nature.
“With the assistance of the players in their mid 20’s and the games that these guys have got under their belt as young guys I think we can go places.”
Warriors president Debbie Bach said the football department of the club did “terrifically” to get Macaffer on board.
“We are very excited about his (Macaffer’s) proposal to develop our younger players,” she said.
“Our football department has been working very hard since before the end of the season this year and we hope to have a few new signings too.”
The Warriors added a further three new faces to their coaching lineup for the 2018 season.
Blair Hart replaces Marc Brilliant as the reserves coach, while Darren Jenkinson and Rhett Mellor will work as co-coaches of the under-14 team and aim towards getting the young Warriors their first victory since 2016. Brett Graveson will continue his position as the under-17 coach for another season.
The Warriors have also had a player recruiting coup, landing the signature of Navarre’s Cody Driscoll.