Chris Kennedy calls end to 4-year role with Pigeons

DUAL premiership coach Chris Kennedy has called time on his coaching career at Yarrawonga.

He has announced he will be standing down as co-coach of the Pigeons at the end of the season.

Kennedy, who led Yarrawonga to back-to-back premierships alongside Drew Barnes for the first time last season, departs after four years at the helm.

He leaves the most successful coaching set-up in the club’s history.

“I don’t know if it’s a massive surprise,” Kennedy said late yesterday.

“Glenn (Brear) knew at the start of the year that this would be it.

“As every coach in the competition knows, it’s a very time-consuming role, and with four kids and work getting busier, the time was right.

“I wanted to make sure the club had enough time to look around.”

Barnes looks certain to retain his role as playing coach, however, with Yarrawonga expected to search for another off-field mentor to replace Kennedy.

The Shepparton United legend took the coaching reins with Barnes at the end of the 2010 season after Craig Ednie decided to step aside following consecutive grand final losses to Albury.

After dropping the 2011 decider to the Tigers in their first year at the helm, Kennedy and Barnes finally got the Pigeons over the line against their fiercest rival with premiership success in 2012 in a side inspired by Brendan Fevola.

Yarrawonga backed that up with successive premierships for the first time in the club’s history last year.

The club sits third on the ladder at the halfway mark of the season and remains in contention for an unprecedented hat-trick of flags.

Fittingly, the Pigeons host the Tigers at J.C. Lowe Oval on Saturday.

Kennedy won a record five best and fairest awards at Shepparton United in a distinguished playing career and also coached Mulwala in the Murray league from 2004 to 2008.