Terang Mortlake coach Paul Dirago stands down

MOVING ON: Terang Mortlake coach Paul Dirago has returned to Melbourne for personal reasons after one year at the Hampden league club. Picture: Rob Gunstone

MOVING ON: Terang Mortlake coach Paul Dirago has returned to Melbourne for personal reasons after one year at the Hampden league club. Picture: Rob Gunstone

TERANG Mortlake is searching for a new coach following Paul Dirago’s decision to quit a week into his second Hampden league pre-season. The former VFL-listed key position player hasn’t ruled out playing for the Bloods in 2017 despite relocating to Melbourne.

Bloods president Robert Arundell said Dirago cited personal reasons for his decision and informed the playing group of his decision on Monday night.

Arundell said Terang Mortlake would look internally and externally for a replacement.

On-field leaders Chris Bant and Chris Baxter will take Bloods’ training in the interim. 

“We might have a coach tomorrow or it might take a month,”  Arundell said.

“We have to make the right decisions for our club.

“We’re certainly not panicking. We’ve got a good leadership group there who will look after things in the short-term and we’ll get something organised from there.”

Arundell said Dirago made a positive impact during his one-year stint at the club and had proven himself as a strong leader despite being just 23.

“It was a very amicable agreement (when he stood down) and he’s welcome back at Terang any time he wants to come here,” he said.

“We are really respectful of this honesty. I’d much rather it this way than get two games in.

“It is just disappointing losing a quality bloke really.”

Terang Mortlake is the only Hampden club without a coach.

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