NORTH Albury has appointed the youngest stand-alone coach in Ovens and Murray history by signing ruckman Isaac Muller.
Muller, who turned 22 six weeks ago, plans to draw on his contacts with VFL club Essendon to help the Hoppers improve on this year’s sixth placing.
Rutherglen’s Keith Williams (22 years and 11 months) and Lavington’s James Saker (22 years and 10 months) were slightly older while Wodonga Raider Ben Klemke was 21 when he joined Ken Stevenson as co-coach in 2013.
Muller will have plenty of experience in the coaching box with Morris Medallist Tim Scott and former Lavington assistant-coach Brendan Roberson joining Mark Hilton and Paul Azzi.
“I’m really passionate for the club,” Muller said.
“North did the right thing by me four or five years ago before I went away and I’m looking to bring back what I’ve learnt and deliver that on to our juniors and local boys.
“I’ve got plenty of contacts down there and I’ll draw on every resource we have.”
Muller was assistant-coach to Chris Schmidt and Clinton Gilson this season.
The Hoppers will again field one of the league’s youngest line-ups particularly with 300-gamer Dan Leslie retiring and Schmidt returning to Adelaide.
The club is sweating on midfielder Shaun Mannagh’s status with VFL club Richmond.
“I think we need some role players,” Muller said.
“We need one or two big midfielders and a key back.
“We’re in deep conversations with a few at the moment.
“In terms of recruits, I think we have what we need and I just want to top-up and develop what we have got.”
North Albury president Tony Burns backed Muller to build on the club’s improved performances this year.
“He’s only young but his enthusiasm and commitment is 150 per cent,” he said.
“We have a young group and we want to grow with him.
“He picked up a lot of experience in the VFL for his age.
“It’s exciting for the footy club.”
North Albury finished with seven wins and a draw this year after managing just three in 2017.