MITCH Carroll has answered Lockhart's SOS call and will lead the Demons next year.
The Demons had been on the lookout for a new coach to replace Nathan McPherson who has stepped down after one season at the helm.
Carroll has been at the helm of Coleambally in the Farrer league for the past two years and will be a non-playing coach with the Demons.
"We have got a relatively young list and their development will be a key factor in how far we progress next year," Carroll said.
"Hopefully we can still land a few recruits and get some leaders and a bit more experience in to complement the kids.
"More than 90 per cent of the list has recommitted already.
"A couple of recruits from the nearby RAAF base have been stationed elsewhere which happens most years.
"But otherwise things are looking fairly positive."
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Lockhart sat outside the top-six on percentage after round 14 but finished ninth with an 8-10 record after dropping its final four matches.
The Demons last played finals in 2009 under McPherson's original stint as coach.
Carroll boasts plenty of coaching experience.
He first coached Coleambally for two years in 2014-15 before returning to the Blues in 2018 for another two year stint at the helm.
The rugged midfielder also coached junior club Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong to a flag in 2011.
He played in four flags with the Riverina league powerhouse and was best-on-ground in the 2010 decider.
Carroll also had stints at Lavington and Albury in the early 2000s alongside older brothers Luke and Nick.
"Hopefully with my contacts I can sign a few more recruits before Christmas," he said.
"But I'm not getting any younger and a lot of the blokes around my age have retired or are at the end of their careers.
"The club got off to a promising start last season and it was only that last month where they needed to pinch another win or two to play finals.
"So the aim next year will be to get off to another good start to build some confidence and hopefully take that next step."
Lockhart football manager Ian Pertzel said Carroll would be good for the development of their young list.
"Mitch will be really good for our young kids by giving them a bit direction," Pertzel said.
The appointment of Carroll is the final piece in the Hume league coaching jigsaw puzzle.
Seven of the 12 clubs will have new coaches.
Joel Mackie (Osborne), Heath Ohlin (Henty), Craig Bosley (Culcairn), Lucas Mellier (RWW Giants), David Miles (Howlong) and Jason Kerr (Billabong Crows) have been appointed in a busy off-season.