OVENS and Murray champion Corey Lambert will coach the Murray Magpies next year.
In a coup for the Hume league battler, the club has secured the North Albury great as Ken Mansell’s successor for 2014.
It’s the biggest appointment in the club’s short history.
Lambert, who made a stunning return as a senior assistant under Jason Akermanis at North Albury this year, said the challenge of coaching the struggling Hume league club was too good to refuse.
“I just saw it as a great chance to help turn a club around,” Lambert said last night.
“Rightly, or wrongly, there’s a bit of a stigma about the place.
“But I know there’s some
really good people there who work really hard.
“The opportunity was too good to say no to, really.”
The 1999 Morris medallist, who also won a premiership and Did Simpson medal with North Albury that same year, went on to lead the Hoppers to the holy grail again in his first year as coach at Bunton Park in 2002.
He coached North Albury until the end of 2006.
Lambert then coached rival Wodonga Raiders, spending four seasons at Birallee Park from 2009.
The Raiders went from Ovens and Murray battler to finalists in three of Lambert’s four years at the helm.
Lambert stood down at the end of last year, citing
family reasons, before making a shock return to Bunton Park in round 6 this season.
“I love coaching and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Lambert said.
“I really enjoyed my time at North this year.
“I’m glad I did it.
“I still feel like I’ve got plenty to offer.”
Magpies’ president Ted Miller said he was rapt to finally get his man.
“To get a high-profile coach like Corey to the club is a huge coup,” Miller said.
“I’ve been chipping away at him for probably the past four years and it’s finally come to fruition.
“He would be one of the most well known and respected coaches in the district.
“Corey has been there, done that and his record speaks for itself.”
Miller said Lambert’s arrival would give the Magpies optimism after collecting two wooden spoons.
“It provides us with a fresh start,” he said.
“Corey will be invaluable in helping attract recruits so we can start climbing the ladder.
“It will rejuvenate the whole place and hopefully bring some success and reward for the people who have been working hard around the club.”