Merrivale couple leave Tigers’ lair for tropical experience

MERRIVALE is searching for a new coach to spearhead its A grade side next season following the departure of premiership leader Danielle McInerney.

Danielle and her Tigers ruckman husband Luke will relocate to Cairns with their three young children in January.

The former Warrnambool and District league A grade best-and-fairest winner said Merrivale’s new coach would inherit a strong squad.

“It would be nice if they could get an A grade coach,” she said. 

“It’s still a really good side. They’ve lost me and Monique Sefton, they’re the only two, so it’s a gutsy side.

“It would be nice if someone came forward.”

Danielle said it would be hard to leave the club and forgo a chance to lead it to back-to-back flags.

“I’ll miss everything because both of us were heavily involved,” she said. 

“I coached A and B grade this year and I am netball manager and on the football committee and so was Luke. We will miss the people and playing, but mainly the people.”

Danielle, 34, and Luke, 36, wanted to move while their children — Paris, 9, Jag, 8, and Moss, 4 — were still young enough.

“It’s only for 12 months and I’m sure everything will be the same when we come home,” Danielle said.

“Something we wanted to do was travel around Australia or get away for 12 months while the kids are at a good age.

“We went up (to Cairns) last year for Christmas with Luke’s family. 

“He has lived there before and I fell in love with it. I wanted somewhere warm.”

Danielle has a hairdressing business in Warrnambool and Luke is a school teacher.

She said it was unknown if the shift would become permanent.  “We are not ruling it out but I still have the business and Luke only has 12 months off work,” she said. 

Luke said it was time for a “seachange”.

The Warrnambool East Primary School teacher has lived in Warrnambool since 1990, while his wife moved to the town aged 15 after growing up in Hamilton.  With their children becoming more involved in sport, the pair expect to join a Queensland club.

“I will get involved in footy. My eldest son loves his footy, so I have looked into Auskick for him,” Luke said.

“It’s for the social side of things for me as much as anything.

“You’re on the downhill when you’re 36.”

Danielle said her family would return to Merrivale when they returned to Warrnambool.

“Paris will be at that age then, playing in juniors, and that’s what I would want to focus on,” she said.

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