Coach calls time

By Tyler Maher

Luke Morgan’s tenure in charge of the Benalla Football Club has come to an end.

After six years coaching the Saints, Morgan is moving on to an as yet undisclosed challenge and the Goulburn Valley League premiership and interleague star, Morrison medallist and club best-and-fairest winner is proud of his time at the Benalla Showgrounds.

‘‘It’s been an amazing time at a very proud footy club,’’ Morgan said.

‘‘I’ve left the club in what I hope is a better spot than when I started, which is always the aim.

‘‘I also won’t be continuing as GVL interleague coach, I’ve handed my resignation in to the league.

‘‘It was another role that I enjoyed and I thank the league for the opportunity.

‘‘The Benalla role has been an amazing role and one I’ll leave with great memories of, so I thank the club for the opportunity as well.

‘‘In the next challenge, I’ll be looking to continue to play and continue to coach, I’ve still got a passion for football.’’

While snaring the 2015 flag will stand out as Morgan’s crowning achievement at Benalla, the players he has seen blossom out of the junior ranks and grow into senior stars has also been a highlight.

‘‘We’ve developed good people and good players over the six years,’’ Morgan said.

‘‘We’ve had team success and some pretty strong sides in 2014 and 2015, but the other success is the local boys who have come through and become good senior players.

‘‘That was shown just on Monday night with Sam Martyn winning the Morrison (Medal) and Jamie Dunne winning the Rising Star.

‘‘I arrived at Benalla as a 23-year-old with a passion for footy who was probably still a bit raw when it came to coaching, and I leave as a 29-year-old who is still keen to keep player-coaching for a few more years yet.’’

Benalla president Lloyd Johnson praised Morgan for his efforts during his time at the Saints and wished him well for his future endeavours.

‘‘He’s certainly done a fantastic job with the club and always developed the young list well,’’ Johnson said.

‘‘Luke’s decided the time is right to move on to the next step of his career and he is leaving on good terms, even though we are disappointed to lose him.

‘‘One of the things we’ve identified with his successor is that they have to display the professionalism that Luke has.

‘‘He has always challenged our footballers and especially the younger guys to play the best they can.

‘‘He’s certainly leaving on good terms and it’s the same when anyone at that level is leaving a business or a club, you want to build on the foundations that they have laid and move forwards, not backwards, after they are gone.’’