Shepparton Swans have announced former TAC Cup assistant coach Justin George as the man to replace Paul Griffiths.
George, who has been involved in football for more than 20 years, joins the Swans on a two-year deal.
Griffiths is moving back to Melbourne due to work commitments after one season with the rebuilding Swans.
The 48-year-old arrives at Princess Park after spending time at Sandringham Dragons as a midfield coach, Maribyrnong Park, Balwyn and most recently West Coburg.
‘‘It is an exciting challenge, something that I am looking forward to and I honestly can’t wait to get my hands dirty and start pre-season,’’ George said.
‘‘Being in football for a long time I have known and often heard about the GVFL, so it is great to be a part of it now, hopefully, we can continue to build the club and get it back to where it belongs.’’
George will be travelling to and from Melbourne to coach and the seasoned campaigner does not see it being an issue.
‘‘I’d travel anywhere for football, I love it, I am a football nut, so I don’t see it being an issue,’’ George said.
‘‘I’ve worked with some good names in football and also helped a few get drafted, so I want to keep continuing to help these guys grow as a development type coach.’’
Swans president Richard Bell was delighted to have George on board, highlighting his nous for football and ability to work with what the Swans have at their disposal.
‘‘We are delighted to have Justin on board, he comes to the club with a wealth of knowledge and experience across a number of metropolitan leagues,’’ Bell said.
‘‘We are both on the same page, he is patient, we are patient and together we hope that we can continue to improve on the field by keeping our core group of young footballers.
George, who most recently coached West Coburg’s under-19s, understands the challenge at hand, but believes that if his new players embrace change, they will go a long way in trying to compete with the competition’s best.
‘‘We are coming from a difficult position being at 2-16 last year, but I feel if we can continue to develop the young talent, their skill set and ability to compete it make us competitive,’’ George said.
‘‘How quickly we can do that will determine the outcome of our success — so hopefully it is sooner rather than later.’’
The Swans have also announced that Josh McKinnon will take up the role of reserves coach next season, while Simon Grumley, who was an assistant to Griffiths this year, will be coaching the under-18 side.