AFTER years of gloom, Myrtleford finally had cause to celebrate yesterday when former Collingwood defender Stan Magro confirmed he will take over as coach of the embattled club.
Magro, 55, has signed a two-year deal with the option of a third in a much-needed boost for the Saints, who have been winless for more than two years.
Magro, who flew from Western Australian last weekend to cast an eye over McNamara Reserve, is expected to move to Myrtleford with his wife in mid-January and will take over preseason training from outgoing coach Mathew Crisp.
Magro was yesterday unavailable for comment and Myrtleford could not confirm any new player signings but club spokesman Adrian Villella said news of Magro’s arrival had already triggered player interest.
Villella also confirmed on-baller and arguably Myrtleford’s best player over the past two years, Josh Chapman, who had been training with Wodonga Raiders, has now committed to the Saints.
“There are a lot of wheels in motion,” Villella said.
“The club is absolutely ecstatic … you’ve got no idea how exciting it is … this is the best story we’ve had in a long time.
“Stan brings a wealth of football experience and combining Stan Magro and Martin Cross (former premiership coach) on the coaching panel will bring a great deal of respect to our establishment.
“There’s a genuine direction now.
“Stan’s been at clubs that have been in similar situations as ours at a higher
level, so he’s going to be
helping us with off-field structures as much as on-field.
“We believe he brings to the table a drawing power that we’ve probably lacked for the past three years.”
Magro, 55, was recruited to Collingwood from East Fremantle and played in four losing grand finals during his 96-match career at Victoria Park.
The Victorian representative was one of the game’s finest tacklers, finished third in the Copeland Trophy in 1978 and 1979 and is remembered for his shirt-front on Carlton captain-coach Alex Jesaulenko.
Magro returned to Western Australia after retiring and took over as South Fremantle coach for four seasons.
He then spent two years
at the helm of East Perth before rejoining Collingwood as an assistant-coach and later held the same position under Gerard Neesham at Fremantle.
Magro returned to WAFL coaching in 2001 and led Perth for five seasons.
Cross, an Ovens and Murray Hall of Fame member, coached the Saints to their last premiership in 1970 and has agreed to return to assist whenever required.
Myrtleford has now had six senior coaches in almost three years.
More reports in today's Border Mail