HAMILTON Kangaroos are searching for a new coach after Gerard FitzGerald decided to stand down after the 2021 Hampden league season.
The three-time VFL premiership coach, who runs a farm near Derrinallum, has thrown his support behind finding a new leader for the Melville Oval-based club.
"I have offered my assistance to help the club find a new leader and believe it will be a very attractive position for someone with such a wealth of junior talent available," he said.
"I feel we have developed a strong bond over the past two years and I look forward to continuing a positive relationship in coming seasons."
Hamilton chairman Lachy Patterson said FitzGerald's impact at the club was wide-ranging.
"It was a huge coup for the Kangaroos to attract Gerard to our club for the 2020 season," he said.
"While we are disappointed we haven't had the body of games over the past two years to see it play out fully, much of the groundwork has been established to see this club continue to grow and subsequently flourish.
"The mantra that 'Fitz' has worked towards since his arrival is 'growth from within' and you only have to look at our on-field results across the grades to see we are definitely heading in the right direction.
"The senior side is littered with highly-talented, home-grown junior players, our under-18.5s are locked into a finals berth in third spot and our under-16s and under-14s both sit equal on top of the ladder.
"Success isn't easy and neither does it come quickly if you're not prepared to work hard at improving every aspect of your club.
"I think that is one of the things we have learnt from our time with Fitz in charge and there is no doubt our club is in a better place now than we he arrived."
FitzGerald joined Hamilton for the 2020 season which was then wiped out due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
He has led the Kangaroos in 10 games this season, with four matches also lost after snap statewide lockdowns.
The Roos (3-7) will return to the field on Saturday when they host Warrnambool (3-7).
The shortened season will include four more home-and-away rounds - if restrictions continue to ease - with at least the next two without crowds.
Hampden league rival North Warrnambool Eagles last week announced Adam Dowie had re-signed for a third season as senior coach.
MORE TO COME
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