ALBURY Racing Club has moved swiftly to cover the departure of Mick Wighton by confirming Steve Hetherton will return home to take up the role of chief executive.
Mr Hetherton was a prolific goal-kicker at district football league level before departing the area for employment reasons in 2009.
Club chairman Mark Cronin said he expected Mr Hetherton to take up the position early in the new year with its biggest event, the two-day Gold Cup carnival, to be held in late March.
The club is also staging a heat of the rich NSW Country Championships in late February.
“Steve comes to this position with a very strong background in media, marketing, sponsorship and administration,” Mr Cronin said.
“He also exhibits a genuine passion for horse racing and I am confident that Steve will prove to be a genuine asset to racing, not only in so far as Albury is concerned, but throughout this region and, indeed, throughout country NSW.”
Mr Hetherton left Albury in 2009 and has worked in media management and sales roles in Coffs Harbour, Bendigo, Mackay and most recently Shepparton.
He has been a 15-year member of the Victorian Racing Club, an Albury member before he left the area and also had a stint on the Mackay Turf Club committee.
Mr Hetherton said he was excited by the role and the chance to move back to Albury with his family.
“I can see the next five years in racing where things might be heading,” he said.
“With the support of Racing NSW the club could move forward pretty quickly.
“There are a lot of challenges out there still, but there is a massive opportunity.
“Racing NSW is lifting the prizemoney again soon so that is more ownership.
“But the club will also be looking at how they can grow revenue through their own facilities and do those facilities need to be improved?
“One of the first things we will do is set a short-to-medium term strategy and then a longer term one.”
During his successful football career, Mr Hetherton kicked 11 goals in a premiership winning season at Henty in 1996 and coached Murray Magpies to a Coreen and District league flag in 2001.
He also returned to his original club North Albury in the Ovens and Murray league in 2003-04 before coaching again at Jindera.
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