CHILTERN has appointed Kirk Wilson and Shaun Pritchard as co-coaches in the wake of Brian Durbidge’s shock decision to step down from the helm of the Tallangatta and District Football League club.
Wilson has been promoted from his assistant coaching role to lead the Swans, while Pritchard will decide over the preseason whether he will play or call the shots from the bench.
The appointments come only days after Durbidge dropped a bombshell and quit due to work and family commitments.
“It’s a bit unexpected but I think Shaun and I will make a good side and I’m looking forward to working with him,” Wilson said yesterday.
“I think the foundations have been laid.
“It’s a shame to lose a quality player and coach but I think we will retain 95 per cent of our list.
“We’re looking forward to it.”
Wilson joined Chiltern last season after playing in Jindera’s 2008 and 2011 premierships, while Pritchard crossed to the Swans from fierce rivals Beechworth where he coached the Bushrangers to the 2009 flag.
He played a handful of senior matches late in the season.
The pair took training for the first time on Monday night after Durbidge spoke to the players.
Wilson is optimistic about Chiltern’s chances of remaining a force in the TDFL despite rival clubs Mitta United, Thurgoona and Dederang-Mount Beauty recruiting well over the off-season.
“The first thing we need to do is shore up our list and make sure those guys are right to go,” Wilson said.
“We have planted a few seeds in regards to recruiting as well so we’ll see how that goes.
“We got stuck into training last night and are up and running.”
Durbidge, who plans to leave the region after Christmas, lifted Chiltern to fifth spot in his first season at the helm after the Swans battled for success for several years.