JUSTIN Johns has quit the helm at Clunes shortly after being re-appointed to lead the club into the 2014 Central Highlands Football League season.
Johns’ shock resignation comes after re-signing to the senior coaching position in July, with next year set to be his fourth in Magpies’ colours.
The playing leader made a statement on the club’s Facebook page, stressing he leaves Clunes on his own terms.
“Reasons relating to time and effort based around travel and recruitment, coupled with the demands of a senior coach meant I could not fully commit to another season,” Johns posted.
“I have loved my time at the club and take away great memories and lifelong friendships.
“My family will definitely miss Clunes.
“The committee has been fantastic in my support and will lead the club in a positive direction no doubt.
“A huge thanks to my playing group/my mates for listening and giving me your best.”
Johns, who lives in Werribee, joined the Magpies as a player in 2011 and was joint coach with Rick Andrews the following year before taking over the role on his own during the most recent campaign.
His decision to move on leaves the Magpies on the hunt for a new coach, with the interview process currently under way.
Clunes president John Bedwell has been a big fan of Johns’ game style since he took over as senior coach.
“Justin introduced a brand of football that when played for four quarters saw us able to beat the best teams in the league,” he posted on Facebook.
“He has helped our club move forward this year and we wish him every success in the future.”
Both Johns and Bedwell were unavailable for further comment yesterday.
Clunes finished the home and away season 12th on the ladder, with its seven wins including one over eventual premier Hepburn early in the year.