WODONGA Raiders premiership coach Darren Harris will leave the West Coast Eagles at season’s end.
Harris, who has spent the past three seasons as an assistant at the Eagles, is set to return to Victoria to explore other opportunities in football and business.
The Raiders last week filled their vacant coaching position with Corey Lambert taking on the top job at Birallee Park.
Harris, who was part of the coaching structure that guided the club to the 2006 premiership, confirmed his decision with coach John Worsfold yesterday.
“John and I have come to a mutual agreement that I won’t be renewing my contract in 2009,” Harris said.
“I will continue until the end of the season with a key focus on growing the squad and maintaining the highest professional standards.
“I am currently exploring options in both the business and football world that could see me return to Victoria.
“The West Coast Eagles have provided me with a fantastic learning opportunity and I thank them for allowing me to develop my skills in this environment.
“My relationships with John, the players and fellow coaches are something I am very proud of and these will remain strong.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute and will only ever speak of the club in the highest regard.”
Worsfold acknowledged the work that Harris had contributed in three years at the club.
“Darren has made a strong contribution to the club in the last three years and certainly played his part in our success in that time,” Worsfold said.
“I wish him every success in the future.”
Meanwhile, the Eagles have re-signed forward Quentin Lynch and midfielder Matt Rosa but the club is refusing to reveal the length of the new signings.
A club spokesman said it was not “club policy” to reveal the length of the new contracts and even refused to divulge when the duo’s current contracts expired.
Lynch has been a jack of all trades this season, playing as a pinch-hitting ruckman, a leading forward and also through the midfield.
The 25-year-old, who booted 65 goals in 2006 and 52 last year, has kicked just 19 goals in 17 matches this season but has been one of West Coast’s most consistent performers in its miserable 2008 campaign.
Lynch was amongst his team’s best in the Eagles’ 17-point victory over St Kilda on Saturday.
Rosa, snared with pick No.29 in the 2004 national draft, fractured his ankle in the club’s round 10 loss to Collingwood and is unlikely to play again this season.
The talented 21-year-old is tipped to become a pivotal component of the club’s midfield division moving forward.
- More AFL reports — page 48