Culcairn forward Peter Cook will coach Barnawartha

CULCAIRN forward Peter Cook will coach home club Barnawartha next season.

After playing in senior and under-17 flags with the Tigers, the 29-year-old said the opportunity to return to the TDFL club was impossible to ignore.

“The sentimental side of it meant a lot to me,” Cook said.

“I’ve played over 100 games there, played in a couple of premierships and have really strong connections with the people at the club.

“You only really get one chance as a coach and, if you grab it too early and don’t make the most of it, sometimes you don’t get another look in.

“With work and family and where I’m at at the moment there has probably never been a better time for me to coach.”

Cook was restricted to only a handful of matches for Culcairn this season due to injury and unavailability but showed his class with nine goals in three finals as the Lions charged into the preliminary final.

He takes over from Mitch Exton.

Cook spent four seasons as an assistant-coach at Barnawartha under Danny Demarte and one under premiership coach Mark Sarau.

The 2006 Ovens and Murray third grade best and fairest winner said he was encouraged by Barnawartha’s final round thumping of Thurgoona.

“It was hugely encouraging,” Cook said.

“There is a lot of talent there and it’s looking positive in regards to keeping the side together.

“Hopefully we can add a few players as well.”

Cook said he spoke informally to Culcairn about coaching the Lions next season.

Meanwhile, Dederang-Mt Beauty has landed an early signing with Henty big-man Brent Ohlin committing to the Bombers.