Two-time premiership captain Joel Soutar has been elevated to the top job at the Morwell Football Netball Club following the sacking of coach Dean Warren after just two rounds.
Mr Soutar arrived at training on Tuesday night a captain, but left a coach, after the club made a surprise decision to sack Mr Warren.
“It’s probably not the circumstances I wanted to start coaching in, but hopefully the club backs me in for this year and hopefully next year, and we can start building the next generation and flowing through,” Mr Soutar said.
In a statement, the club said it did not take the decision to remove the former VFL level three coach, lightly.
“The decision to remove Dean from the role was not taken lightly, however the club felt it was in the best interest for all involved moving forward,” a club spokesperson said.
The club said the decision on who would replace Mr Warren was a much easier one.
“Joel is a much valued two-time premiership player, with many club accolades and a true passion for the Morwell Football Netball Club,” the spokesperson said.
“We are looking to the future following the change and giving Joel a terrific opportunity to lead the club forward and unite the playing group for the remainder (of) the season.”
Mr Soutar was hopeful he could get the Tigers back to winning ways this weekend in Morwell’s Anzac Day clash against Moe.
“I am confident in the boys. I just want to get them on the right track, wanting to be down at the club and playing for each other and that’s what has got us through the last couple of years, the boys have all been committed to the club and united as a group,” Mr Soutar said.
Warren’s sacking comes after consecutive losses to Wonthaggi and Sale and after Sunday’s shock retirement of two-time premiership player Michael ‘Chunky’ Duncan, who was dropped to the reserves at the weekend.
“That was Chunky’s decision to start with, we are in talks with him to try and get him back, as we speak,” Mr Soutar said.
“He is an important member to our side and he has nearly played 200 games himself.”
Dean Warren did not wish to comment.