JAKE Wooden will coach Lockhart next season.
Continuing a family tradition that saw older brothers Matt (Tocumwal and Blighty) and Sam (Urana and Billabong Crows) lead district clubs, Wooden has taken over from Chris Cerato and Dane Campbell at the Demons.
The damaging half- forward has spent the past two seasons at Lockhart after a stint with Subiaco and is hopeful of leading the club back into the finals.
Lockhart president Craig Fletcher said yesterday Wooden had the experience and respect to successfully fill the position.
“Jake is very passionate about the club and all the current players are excited about the appointment,” Fletcher said.
“He’s come through the under-14 and 17s at the club and has gained a lot of experience from playing in Western Australia.
“We think he’ll do a great job for the club.”
Although Lockhart has lost key players including Chris Cerato and Tom Marlow (Turvey Park), Dane Campbell (retired) and Matt Polman (US), Fletcher is confident the Demons will pick up several recruits.
Mitch Pilon will coach Lockhart’s reserves.
Lockhart started this season in fine fashion by winning seven of its opening eight matches but could only manage another two victories and a draw to plummet to seventh on the ladder.
Wooden’s appointment has taken the number of new coaches to eight following the signings of Craig Mannagh (Walla), Karl Jacka (Howlong), Josh Walker (Jindera), Ken Mansell (Murray Magpies), Chad Hamblin (Culcairn), Daniel Athanitis (Rand-Walbundrie) and Brett Powell (Billabong Crows).