Damian Payne stands down after two seasons in charge of CDHBU Power

LEADING FROM THE FRONT: Power coach Damian Payne kicked seven goals in CDHBU's second elimination final victory over Howlong at Walbundrie earlier this season. Picture: MARK JESSER

LEADING FROM THE FRONT: Power coach Damian Payne kicked seven goals in CDHBU's second elimination final victory over Howlong at Walbundrie earlier this season. Picture: MARK JESSER

CDHBU coach Damian Payne has stood down after two seasons in charge of the Power.

Payne led the Power to consecutive top-four finishes in his time at the helm but said increasing work commitments meant he couldn’t continue in the role.

The 31-year-old, who runs a furniture removal business in Mulwala, described himself as a “footy-head” but said he didn’t want his coaching to suffer as a result of work.

“Just in the last 18 months, having to really take the reins of running your own business, you compromise a little bit,” he said.

“I don’t think it affected my coaching but you just want to make sure it doesn’t.

“I love coaching, I’m a footy-head, and it’s not like I’ve had enough of it. It’s just that when I do something like coaching, I put myself into it 150 per cent.

“I thought it was probably the right time to step back.

“I’ve given it two years and we’ve just got stuck at the same spot but hopefully it holds them in good stead moving forward.

“The footy club has been awesome to me, it’s been a tough year losing my old man and things like that but they’ve been really supportive of my family and I.

“I’ll always be indebted to them for that.”

Payne battled a serious knee injury for most of the season with the Power but made a stunning return in the second elimination final to kick seven goals in a thrilling win against Howlong.

The 2013 Tungamah premiership coach said  would make a decision around Christmas about whether he continued to play.

“I’m just going to get my body right, I would love to play footy next year but I think 18 rounds will be too much for me,” he said.

“I’ll just take a bit of a step back, have a rest and then assess what’s going on.”

CDHBU football manager Paul Rippingale paid tribute to Payne.

“He’s done a fantastic job over the last two seasons,” he said.

“He’s a terrific leader, he came back in that final against Howlong and basically won it for us with his six or seven goals.”

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