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Eaglehawk has appointed 2010 Michelsen Medal winner Josh Bowe as its playing coach for the 2017 BFNL season.
Bowe returns to his home club after spending the past four years in Western Australia.
The 29-year-old helped the Eaton Boomers to premiership success in the South West Football League in 2013 and spent the past two years with Halls Head in the Peel and District Football League.
Bowe replaces Luke Monaghan as coach after the 36-year-old stepped down from the position.
“We couldn’t be happier to have Josh back at the club,’’ Eaglehawk president Paul Whitfort said on Monday.
“He was the first person we spoke to about the job. The fact he was in WA made it a bit hard, but he was excited about it.
“He was originally keen to come back at the end of next year, but the fact the coaching job was on offer meant he decided to come back now.
“He’s never coached before, but he’s keen to have a crack at it and he’ll back himself in. He can’t wait to get back to the club where he’s enjoyed his footy and help the young list we have here.”
Bowe was one of the premier midfielders in the BFNL before departing for WA.
After playing at TAC Cup level with the Bendigo Pioneers and at VFL level with the Bendigo Bombers, Bowe had a standout season in the BFNL in 2010.
He won the league’s highest individual award when he polled three votes in the final round of the season to edge out Golden Square star Grant Weeks by three votes.
Bowe continued his medal-winning habits in WA. The tough nut was a joint winner of the PIke Medal for best on ground in the 2013 SWFL grand final.
“He’s always wanted to coach and he was keen to grasp this opportunity,’’ Whitfort said.
“He still has a few good years of footy out of him as well. He’ll be able to direct our young players out on the field.
“We probably didn’t think we’d go down the track of a playing-coach, but it was too good an opportunity to get a player of his ability back to the club.
“The playing list is very excited about it, so it was an easy decision.”