Mail Medal-winning Mallala midfielder Liam Whitwell will take on the role as senior coach of the Brinkworth-Spalding-Redhill Tigers for the 2017 season.
He takes over from club stalwart Paul Meyer, whose side endured a terrible run with injury in 2016.
Club president Shane Weckert is naturally pleased with Whitwell’s appointment.
“We believe Liam will bring a new dimension to the club,” Weckert said.
“His professionalism is an area that impressed the club committee.
“Primarily Liam has come to coach the BSR Football Club.
“Liam’s credentials are impressive, both as a footballer and in a teaching sense.”
Whitwell’s football resume is outstanding, including the Adelaide Plains Football League’s highest honour, the 2009 and 2011 Mail Medals.
He has enjoyed five flags at the Malalla Magpies since his arrival at the club – the 2007, ‘09, ‘10 and ’13 titles, and again this year against Virginia.
He was the Magpies’ club champion in his first season in 2005, as well as ’06 and ‘09.
Between 2006-09 Whitwell played Landmark Cup football for the Adelaide Plains and in ‘09 he was a member of the Central Zone squad, at the annual South Australian Country Championships in Port Pirie.
Now 33, the hard tackling and ball winning midfielder started his football with Kimba Districts in the Eastern Eyre Football Club, playing his junior football alongside Corey Enright, who was a year above Whitwell at school.
He first played A grade for Kimba Districts in 2001.
In 2003, Whitwell was a member of Rostrevor Old Collegians Division II Amateur League premiership and in 2004, played in the highly credentialed Division I competition.
“I came out to Mallala with a few mates from the Eyre Peninsula, including Reece Francis and Josh Hollitt,” Whitwell told the Argus.
“At different times from 2007-13 in the APFL I’ve been the Adelaide Plains Under 15 coach.
“There was a couple of stints in the Magpies Under 17 (Senior colts ‘08-‘09, ‘13-‘14 ) role.
“Senior level coaching is always something I wanted to have a crack at.
“If I feel I can play I may have a go, but no one priority is to coach the team.
“(I’ve been) lucky to have a number of quality coaches to learn from including (former West Adelaide league footballer) Greg Mellor, Peter Woolford from Kimba, along with Keith Earl and Steve Lubcke at Mallala.
“Playing alongside quality players like Jason Earl and Joel Montgomerie helps shape my beliefs.
“Team football is the backbone of my philosophies
“I’ve be looking to put structures through the middle and up forward at the club.
“It is a pretty exciting young group that could be available at the Tigers.
“Having been involved in junior coaching and have the belief they should aspire to play the highest level they can.”
Whitwell will take the role as principal at Owen Primary School from 2017, currently he is the principal of Manoora Primary, in his 10th year in the teaching profession.
Club champion and NEFL Mail Medallist this year Sam Heinjus has re-signed with the Tigers as well.