Former Fremantle ball magnet Michael Barlow has been appointed senior coach of Werribee in the new VFL and east coast second-tier competition.
Barlow will take the reins from Port Adelaide premiership mentor Mark Williams, who was poached by Melbourne for a development-coach role.
The 33-year-old, who played the first 126 of his 141-game AFL career at the Dockers, admits it was all a bit unexpected after Williams’ departure.
Barlow, former playing-assistant coach at the club, initially left Werribee to further his coaching ambitions with a senior role at Yarraville Seddon Eagles in the Western Region competition for 2021.
“Firstly, let me thank Yarraville for appointing me and now allowing me to take up this irresistible position at Avalon Airport Oval. I plan to still be involved with the Eagles, helping out where I can, Barlow told the club website.
“Obviously this wasn’t planned, but what a golden opportunity.
“I am excited with what I have inherited from ‘Choco’ (Mark Williams) and what I have learnt from him as well.
“I can’t wait for the players to come back so we can build on the foundation the club has laid in recent seasons.”
The largest second-tier football competition in Australia, consisting of 22 clubs from Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, will kick off its debut season in April.
Werribee is one of eight stand-alone clubs in the competition alongside Aspley, Coburg, Frankston, Northern Bullants, Port Melbourne, Southport and Williamstown.