DARRYL Wilson believes the timing is right to bring a close to his seven-year stint as coach of Strathfieldsaye at the end of the Bendigo Football-Netball League season.
Wilson has informed the club that 2017 will be his last as senior coach of the Storm.
Wilson took over as Storm coach in 2011 when the club was in its infancy having joined the BFNL in 2009.
But through his tenure he has helped steer the Storm from competition new-comers to powerhouse, having won back-to-back premierships in 2014 and 2015, playing in the 2013 grand final, and shaping up again strongly this year for another tilt at the flag.
”After seven years it feels like it’s the right time for a change for both the club and myself,” Wilson said on Friday.
“It’s a decision I’ve made where it’s probably best for the club to have a bit of a freshen up and continue along with someone else at the helm.
“I’m not burnt out or anything like that, but I have been basically constantly coaching since 1995 (with Colbinabbin’s reserves) and there’s a lot of work involved.”
Wilson took on the coaching reins from Clint Whitsed and in his seven seasons with the Storm will have played finals six times.
In 134 games at the helm Wilson has a 102-31-1 record, at one stage winning 39 games in a row.
“The biggest thing for me has been the development of the club,” Wilson said.
“When I took over it was in its infancy having been in the competition for only two seasons and there was a lot we still had to implement in terms of building on our junior program, facilities, volunteers, coaches and so on.
“There has been a lot of work that has gone in to building a strong club and we’re proud that we’ve been able to build a foundation that can continue for a long time.
“There’s a lot of great people who have helped to set the club up and I’m pleased I’ve been able to help play a role in that.”
Wilson’s announcement comes with two games left in the home and away season and then another finals campaign for the Storm, who are guaranteed their fifth-consecutive top three finish on the ladder.
Storm president Michael Farrell said Wilson’s contribution to the club was far more reaching than just the success he has achieved on the field.
“The contribution Darryl and his whole family have made off the field has been enormous,” Farrell said.
“He was given a platform by Clint Whitsed and the committee at the time to really launch the club.
“A lot of people, including myself, originally came to the club because of Darryl. His impact at the club is going to be something that lasts many years beyond his coaching tenure.”
Meanwhile, Farrell confirmed the Storm were one of the six clubs that have been reviewed by AFL Central Victoria in relation to the new local football salary cap.
All clubs across the region that have been reviewed have been assessed as compliant with their relevant salary cap, which in the Bendigo league is $160,000.
“We knew very early in the year we wouldn’t be exceeding the salary cap; it was more around us making sure our governance around the policy was right,” Farrell said.
“When we were informed we’d be reviewed we saw it as a good opportunity to test our governance. The results have come back that we and everyone else have passed.”