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DENIS Grinton says he looks forward to watching the emergence of Huntly's younger brigade as a spectator after his decision this week to stand down as coach.
The Hawks are this year undergoing the first season of a rebuild after losing their Melbourne-based travelling group of recent years.
The rebuild will continue under new coach Stacy Fiske, with Grinton making the decision to stand down after eight rounds of the Heathcote District league season due to personal reasons.
"There's a couple of things that have come up outside of footy and I no longer have the time to continue as coach," Grinton said on Wednesday.
"I've got to give time somewhere else, and a lot of it. It's obviously not the greatest time to be making this decision given the position the club is in and by no means am I walking away because the club isn't going any good.
"It's just that the personal stuff going on outside of footy outweighs my ability to do the job properly.
"So for the club's benefit and the players' benefit, they need someone who is able to give the time that's needed."
Interim coach Fiske is no stranger to the role at Huntly.
Fiske previously coached the Hawks from 2012 to 2014, which included leading Huntly into the 2013 grand final when it was beaten by Lockington-Bamawm United.
"Stacy had been my captain and has been taking a fair bit of the training this year already," Grinton said.
"I spoke to Stacy yesterday morning, informed him of what was going on and that I'd appreciate if he would be able to step into the role, which he has agreed to.
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"The club has been good enough to accept this."
Having played finals for the past four years, the Hawks are approaching the mid-season mark at 1-6, with their only win so far by eight points against Heathcote in round four.
The Hawks have used 30 players this season, four of whom - Flynn Campbell, Bryn Burke, Bryce Laird and Mitchell Billings - are also playing under-17s.
Another two, Harrison Campbell and Bailey Jones, were part of last year's under-17 team.
"That's what it's all about as a coach - developing young players and it's going to be exciting times down the track," Grinton said.
"A lot of the group is aged 16 to 19, so it's going to take a bit of time, but if the club can keep them together and get some more experience around them then they will get themselves back up towards the top."
Huntly president Sam Walker said Grinton had showed tremendous passion and commitment to the club during his coaching tenure, which began with his appointment in September of 2017.
"Grints has done a great job for the club. He inherited a list with a lot of Melbourne players last year and moving forward into this year with those players gone, he took on a very young team that he has been working closely with," Walker said.
"He's done a lot of good for our club and with three or four 16-year-olds in our side last week, his legacy at our club is going to be with those young players getting the opportunity to play senior football."
Huntly joins the North Central league's Boort as an AFLCV club to have had a mid-season coaching change this year.
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