Melton Thoroughbreds import Chris Johnson is stepping up to take on the coaching role for next year’s Big V men’s division 2 season.

Johnson had already re-signed to play on with the Thoroughbreds, and last week the club announced he would be playing coach for the next two seasons.

Johnson, who starred on court this year, said it was something that he hadn’t been expecting, but he was excited by the challenge.

“I thought they would find someone to come and coach the side next season,” he said.

“When I found out they were having trouble filling the role, I thought I would put my hand up about the head coaching role and see what happens.”

Johnson said he had never coached at this level before, so it would be a new experience for him.

Besides helping out with juniors, his only other coaching experience was back in college.

Johnson will have to return to America in the short term to sort out his visa, but said he would have a good team in Australia supporting him.

He admits there will be some challenges being both a player and coach.

“There’s a lot of changes and a lot more responsibility for me,” he said.

“It’s a good experience for me and the club.

“I will have to go back home, but I’ll still keep in contact here and keep everything going.

“I’ll pick up when I return.”

The Thoroughbreds will hold two tryouts over the next two weeks, to get the base of the team selected before Johnson heads back to America.

He said they might have a third tryout in January when he returns to Australia, if needed.

Johnson said he already knows that there will be a few changes to the side that missed finals this year.

He said it would likely be a new-look playing group and they would try and change the culture within the club.

He will also trying to give the youth league players some more opportunities.

Josh Crowe has again been appointed youth league coach and the two will work closely together.

“Some guys I’ve been talking to are keen to try out and see how it goes,” Johnson said.

Tryouts for both Thoroughbreds’ men’s Big V teams and their under-21 boys team will be held on the next two Thursdays from 8pm at Melton Indoor Recreation Centre.