Caroline Springs has lured a big name to fill its coaching vacancy.
The Western Region Football League division 1 club has unveiled former Collingwood and Fremantle forward-midfielder Brodie Holland to replace caretaker coach Marc Raak.
Raak will remain football director at the Lakers, while handing over the coaching responsibilities to Holland.
“We’re absolutely delighted with the appointment,” Raak said.
“They were positive talks from day one right ’till the end … what we presented to him was what he was looking for – a club like ours that he can build and hopefully be part of the success in one, two or three years.”
Holland, 37, is best known for his career at AFL level. He played 155 games and kicked 141 goals in the big league at two clubs with his versatility a shining asset.
But his main asset for Caroline Springs will be his experience as a player and coach in local football. His greatest success as a player-coach came at Maribyrnong Park, where he won back-to-back premierships.
He took a step back from coaching, pulling on jumpers of Broadford and Bairnsdale as a player only.
Ready to step back into coaching, he saw a good fit at Caroline Springs.
“I think doing the EDFL interleague coaching, he got the bug back a little bit,” Raak said.
Caroline Springs earned respect from the rest of the competition in its first season in division 1.
Holland’s task is to take a developing side on the lower rungs of the ladder to one that is competing for finals. Raak sees a person with the drive and experience to begin the Lakers’ rise up the standings.
“The beauty is, we’ve got all our players from this year committed and on board for next year,” Raak said. “We really haven’t lost anyone, but had a couple of retirees – so 95 per cent of our list is committed for a couple of years and we’ve got a real good foundation to work from.
“I gave him the absolute truth – told him where we’re at and what we need … we do need some key players, so we’re in the hunt for them.
“Having someone like Brodie as a head coach will help us get those players.”
Meanwhile, Brian Lake has indicated that he will continue as a player with Caroline Springs next season. Lake only managed four games this season because of his Fox Footy commitments, but will do a pre-season with a view of boosting that tally next year.