Just good Mannaghs, Hoppers go for Craig

WALLA has appointed Craig Mannagh as coach for next season.

Mannagh was confirmed as the late Merv Neagle’s replacement yesterday with the long-time junior mentor saying he was eager to build on the Hoppers’ improved performances over the past 12 months.

It will be Mannagh’s first appointment since leading Lavington’s third grade team from 2007 to 2010 which included the 2009 premiership.

“I’m rapt to be joining Walla,” Mannagh said.

“The opportunity to get back into senior coaching really excites me and hopefully I can build on the good work achieved by Merv Neagle.

“Walla has a good list with some good kids and, with a couple of recruits, I’m confident we can develop further.

“It’s a challenge and one I’m really looking forward to starting.”

Mannagh was president of the Lavington Panthers Junior Football Club last season and previously coached Thurgoona in 2003 and 2004.

He also had stints with Lockhart and Jindera after playing for Lavington in 1999 and 2000.

Walla was the league’s big improver last season climbing from last to eighth before tragedy struck and Neagle lost his life in a truck accident near Griffith in August.

Walla president Garry Mickan said he was confident Mannagh would continue the good work of the former Essendon champion.

“With the appointment of Craig Mannagh, the club can commence its planning for the 2013 season and beyond,” Mickan said.

“The club has a clear vision and a detailed plan of where we want to be.

Mannagh plans to start shoring up Walla’s list which includes talking about former Richmond player Relton Roberts’ future at the club.

New Walla coach Craig Mannagh. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

New Walla coach Craig Mannagh. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK