Highly-respected Ainslie coach Chris Rourke says Lavington has picked up a superb player and coach in Simon Curtis.
The Panthers signed the ACT star to a three-year deal on Tuesday.
“I think he’ll be an outstanding player,” Rourke said.
“He’s superbly fit, he’s got brilliant skills and you are getting an absolute quality player.
“I think he’ll be an outstanding coach. He’s very similar to Timmy Sanson and James Saker, they’re both quality people.
“I know Simon’s done a fair bit of work to make sure that he is ready to go.”
He’s really grown as a person and a leader.- Chris Rourke
Rourke says the 28-year-old has become an inspirational leader in his three years at Ainslie.
“We think we’ve got a really good culture and he drives it,” he said.
“He enjoys the boys and trains really hard, he gets the most out of himself.
“He’s really grown as a person and a leader.”
Curtis will take over from six-year coach Saker, who’s expected to stay on as a player.
“Simon just doesn’t waste the ball, he’s just a magnificent kick, his kicking has always been elite,” Rourke added.
“And if you give him a job to do, he will do the job.
“When we were struggling with injuries, we’d put him down back and tell him you’ve got to play on this bloke.
“He’s no fuss, that’s my role, I’ll do that.”
Curtis is also the founder of Decoy Marketing.
“We set up shop in Canberra in 2010 and we’ll be looking to open up another office in Albury-Wodonga,” Curtis said.
Curtis will move to the region with his partner in time for pre-season training.