Leadership. Reigning Baldock Medalist Matt Elliott will coach the Circular Head Giants in the North West Football League next season.
Elliott replaces Aaron Tuxworth who will take a back seat in leadership but remain a key player, citing changing work and family commitments for the decision.
Joining the Smithton Football Club in 2010, Elliott debuted in the senior competition the following year.
In 2015, he led Forest Stanley Football Club to premiership glory in the Circular Head Football Association before returning as assistant coach with the Giants.
“Coaching is something that I really enjoy doing,” Elliott says, adding his goal has always been to coach at this level.
The 23-year-old follows in his father Lyle’s footsteps who has coached Smithton Football Club senior, reserve and underage sides in years gone by.
“A premiership is something that hasn’t [been achieved] for a while . . . there hasn’t been any shining lights, but hopefully with the group we have, we can recruit what we need in the off-season and then a premiership, I don’t think, is too far off.”
Sitting fifth on the ladder, Elliott maintained the side will need to work hard to gain a place in the finals.
“There is no reason we can’t give it a good shake for the rest of the year.
“Our footy can compete with the best, I think it is just getting that four quarter performance and getting everyone on the same page . . . the next five weeks are going to be massive for the club.”
Smithton Football Club president Nic Bellinger acknowledged and thanked Tuxworth for his efforts in turning the club around in recent years.
“For a young 22-year-old to put his hand up and take on the job of trying to recruit players and then have them ready to play just to ensure the club fielded sides, says a lot about his character and commitment to the club,” Bellinger said.
“In what has been a very, very busy three years, the club has been able to continue, plan and head towards their goal of developing these young players into not only footballers but well respected members of the community, and a lot of that recognition must go to Aaron with the standards he has set.”
Bellinger said Elliott’s experience and current relationship with the players would allow for a smooth transition to the 2018 season.