BEECHWORTH has appointed home-grown star Brenton Surrey as playing coach.
In a rare double, Surrey will have the honour of coaching Beechworth’s football team and captaining its cricket side.
Surrey, last year’s Barton medallist, replaces Nick Dillon.
Surrey, who signed a one-year deal last week, has already had a taste of coaching, replacing Dillon on a temporary basis late in the season.
Surrey said his first step would be to consolidate the Bushrangers’ playing list.
“I think it’s about earning some respect back and becoming competitive again,” he said.
“It’s very important to keep the players we’ve got.
“We’ve got to continue to teach them how to play the game we want.
“We also want to make it a good place to be around.”
Surrey has etched a name for himself as one of the premier onballers in the competition, winning last year’s league best-and-fairest award after Rutherglen’s Ian Kay was ineligible due to suspension.
Beechworth vice-president Steve Collins said the club was delighted to secure Surrey, whose brother Kayde has signed for a second season with Wangaratta Magpies in the Ovens and Murray league.
“We’ve been speaking to him for several months and he put in a formal application at the start of last week,” Collins said.
“There was some speculation he was going to Maggies so we are happy he’s staying with us.
“His reliability and standing in the community is held in high regard.”
Beechworth, which is yet to find a new president, is set to start preseason training on Saturday week with the help of local personal training business Aggression Training Systems.