All 11 KNTFL clubs now have A grade coaches for 2018.
The last three to confirm their appointments are reigning grand finalists Mundulla and Lucindale, plus Keith.
The Keith Crows appointed prominent SANFL player George Thring after he retired having carved out an impressive career with North Adelaide and Sturt.
Thring replaces another former SANFL player, Gavin Hughes from Norwood, who is returning to a coaching role in Adelaide after one year at Keith.
Lucindale has appointed 2016 league medallist and 2017 premiership player Ryan McInerney to his first A grade coaching role, replacing Sam Logan who took the Roos to the flag in his second year in charge.
Mundulla, as expected, reappointed non-playing coach Tim Williams after he took the club to the 2017 grand final, where they lost to Lucindale.
George Thring comes to his first coaching appointment at Keith with a wealth of playing experience in the SANFL.
Thring started his SANFL career with Sturt in 2007 before switching to North Adelaide in 2009, becoming a key Rooster in playing nearly 130 senior games up to 2017.
The 28-year-old teacher told the Naracoorte Herald he had been involved in player mentoring and development the last few years and had always held hopes to coach at some level.
“The last 3-4 years we’ve had quite a young team and I’ve been part of the leadership group, sharing my experience and helping the younger kids develop,” he said.
“I’ve always wanted to go and play in the country somewhere and I wanted to do it while I’ve still got something to offer. I’ve still got a solid 3-4 years in me I hope.”
Thring said he hoped to build on the good work of Hughes, who introduced to Keith a new game style which obviously worked last year.
“The game plan Gav left behind, zone and press, it’s something I’m familiar with,” he said.
“After only losing three games last year there’s no need to change too much.”
Thring will be travelling from Adelaide to do the Crows’ coaching role, much the same as Hughes last year, with the support of Keith-based assistant coach Ben Lamont.
He said the playing group looked set to be very similar to last year, but the return of 2015 league medallist Ben Simounds was a coup and he was also confident of bringing a couple of playing mates from Adelaide.
“I’m looking forward to it, it should be a good year.”
All the 2018 appointments:
LUCINDALE (1st in 2017) Decorated on-baller Ryan McInerney replaces Sam Logan, who did the job this year as a mostly non-playing coach who played reserves and some A grade games. The plans of the Roos’ topline players including Logan’s brother Tom are not yet known.
MUNDULLA (2nd) Tim Williams has been reappointed after taking the club to the minor premiership and a grand final appearance in 2017. The Moots have reportedly signed up on-baller Tim McIntyre to return after he had an excellent first year at the club.
PENOLA (3rd) has appointed 2016 reserves premiership coach Matt Tilby as its new non-playing leader. He replaces highly credentialled gun forward Adam Merrett who stepped down after several years in charge and a premiership in 2016. Merrett is believed to be playing on with the Eagles.
KEITH (4th) is generating some excitement with the appointment of new playing coach George Thring as well as the news that 2015 league medallist and goal kicking machine Ben Simounds is heading back to Keith after playing at Strathalbyn for a couple of seasons.
KYBYBOLITE (5th) has reappointed Tim Leehane as non-playing coach but has lost midfielder Nathan Stark to Border Downs Tintinara.
PADTHAWAY (6th) two-time premiership player Scott Welsh will return to the Lions’ den as coach. The ace former AFL goalkicker spent three seasons with Padthaway in 2014-16 before playing at Tailem Bend in the River Murray league in 2017.
He replaces non-playing coach Adam Jeffries, who took the Lions to back-to-back flags in 2014-15 in his four-year stint as coach. Jeffries has been appointed to a coaching role in Adelaide amateur footy.
K/L UNITED (7th) has reappointed Nick Murphy playing coach for a third season. The Cougars have re-signed a number of their gun travelling recruits including Cam Hitchcock, Cam De Visser and ruckman Nathan Bowles.
NARACOORTE (8th) has appointed former Adelaide Crows player Chris Ladhams as senior coach. Ladhams kicked 100 goals for Nairne Bremer last season. He replaces the coach of the past couple of seasons, Brett Gould.
KINGSTON (9th) has confirmed 2017 coach Brad Richardson will carry on the role, but other coaching and player details are still being worked on.
BORDERTOWN (10th) has recruited Cam Sandercock from Border Districts as playing coach. Sandercock replaces non-playing Simon Trenorden, who coached the side to 10th in 2017. The Roosters are believed to have signed two or three key players from Adelaide.
BORDER DISTRICTS (11th) will be led again by non-playing coach Darrin Wilson, who brought with him a large number of recruits from the Adelaide area for his first year in 2017. The Eagles have lost utility Cam Sandercock to Bordertown but other player movements are unclear.