FORMER Carlton footballer Ryan Houlihan has joined Greater Western Sydney’s ranks.
The Corowa-Rutherglen export has taken on a coaching position with the Giants’ junior academy.
Houlihan’s move to the Harbour City will also see him play for the Sydney Hills Eagles in the NEAFL Eastern Conference.
Houlihan has joined the Eagles as a playing assistant coach, penning a two-year deal with the club after an AFL career that spanned 12 seasons.
Houlihan played 201 games for the Blues, kicking 127 goals in the process.
He officially started his new role with the Giants this week, travelling to Coffs Harbour for the under-18 Joss State Zone Carnival.
“It’s an exciting time for AFL football in Western Sydney and I’m really looking forward to helping the development of the club and the game,” Houlihan said.
“Hopefully I’m able to provide some insight that can further improve their game knowledge and skills.
“It is also a great opportunity for me to develop my skills as a coach.”
Houlihan played in two preseason premierships with Carlton, finishing in the top 10 of the Blues’ best and fairest award on three occasions.
He was also rated in the club’s top 10 for average disposals per game every year from 2003 to 2010.
Sydney Hills Eagles club manager Tony Moran said signing Houlihan was a significant achievement for the Eagles in their first season.
“To have a player of Ryan’s ability and experience commit to the Eagles and the NEAFL for at least the next two years is a huge boost for our club,” Moran said.
“There’s no doubt all our players and coaches will learn from Ryan and he’s sure to continue to boost our profile in the Sydney Hills community.”