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Thomas to lead Roos

Thursday, 17th October, 2013

By By Ethan James

A baker by trade, Craig Thomas will be hoping he can find the recipe for success on the AFL field in 2014.

Following the retirement of club legend Peter Johns, the 39-year-old Thomas was last week appointed head coach of South Kangaroos for next season.

“I played footy for South all my life, so I feel grateful and privileged that I now have the opportunity to coach them,” he said.

“I always wanted to coach A Grade and Peter gave me a call two weeks ago and let me know that he was not going to be standing for the position.

“I hope to bring a bit more variety to the team, try and develop the juniors that we’ve got and continue to improve.”

With South having lost the last three A Grade finals to North, Thomas will be leaving no stone unturned in his pursuit of the flag.

“We’re going to be working a lot harder on our fitness,” he said.

“I’ve always been a big fitness fanatic myself when I was playing footy,” he said.

“We’re going to have a lot more run through the midfield and try to open the forward line up a little more.”

Thomas started playing for the club in 1999 and won nine reserve premierships during his career on the field.

He guided the Kangaroos reserve grade side to undefeated premiership success in 2012 before taking a year off to focus on coaching the Broken Hill Shinglebacks last season.

“We only lost one game for the season, it was a heap of fun and I learned a lot coaching some of the older ex-South footballers,” he said.

South Football Club President Andrew Rolton believes Thomas will bring a fresh approach to the top job.

“He’ll bring a mixture of youth but also a bit of experience as well,” he said.

“He’s a pretty quiet person, he doesn’t drink and is a pretty level-headed character.”

Currently in the recruitment phase, Thomas is planning to start pre-season training in January ahead of kick off in March.

He will be joined on the A Grade coaching staff by Clayton Trengrove, while Anthony Farquar is set to mentor the reserve grade side.

The club is still seeking a coach for the Under 18 team.

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