Nic Barnes named to coach Bushrangers

Nic Barnes will take over from Brenton Surrey as coach of Beechworth next season after Surrey announced his decision to stand down. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

Nic Barnes will take over from Brenton Surrey as coach of Beechworth next season after Surrey announced his decision to stand down. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

BEECHWORTH has appointed Nic Barnes as coach for next season.

Barnes will take over the top position from Brenton Surrey who will step down from the helm after next weekend’s final round Tallangatta and District league match against Chiltern.

He has spent the past two seasons coaching Wodonga’s reserves.

“It will be good to have a go at coaching senior football,” Barnes said.

“I’m looking forward to it.

“Gareth Pritchard got in touch a while ago about it and the hierarchy at Beechworth has been fantastic to deal with.

“It’s a good opportunity.”

Barnes played seniors at Whorouly before joining Ovens and Murray club Myrtleford, where he played in the Saints’ losing grand final team against Lavington at Lavington Oval in 2001.

He then switched to Wodonga and was a member of the Bulldogs’ 2004 premiership under Richard Bence.

The defender switched back to Myrtleford the following season when Travis Hodgson took over as coach and again tasted grand final defeat when the Saints went down to the Panthers on the final kick of the day.

It was his last match before retiring and travelling.

Surrey has coached Beechworth for the past two seasons and is looking forward to concentrating on playing.

“It will be good just to have a kick,” Surrey said.

Surrey took over as coach last year with Beechworth battling for players and has helped rebuild the Bushrangers into a competitive line-up with four victories this season.

“It’s been a bit of a battle with injuries over the past few weeks,” he said.

“They have hurt us fairly badly.

“We have two games left though and hopefully we can finish the year strongly.”

Beechworth is confident of retaining the nucleus of this year’s side with Barnes hopeful of securing several recruits to assist the club’s youngsters.

The Bushrangers take on Wahgunyah at Wahgunyah on Saturday.

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