CLEVER midfielder Brenton Powell will fulfil a dream when he returns to lead Learmonth in season 2014.
Powell will work alongside the great John Northey after agreeing to a joint coaching role at the Lakies.
The 26-year-old arrives back at his former club after four seasons away from the Central Highlands Football League in Australia’s north.
He is set to land in Victoria in the coming weeks and begin planning for the Lakies’ upcoming campaign.
“I’ve always wanted to come back and coach Learmonth. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. If I don’t do it now I’ll get stuck up here forever,” Powell told The Courier.
“I was going to come back two years ago and I got offered a coaching job here and that’s one of the main reasons I stayed.”
Powell signs with Learmonth after a successful stint with Cairns Saints, leading the club to the past two Cairns AFL premierships as joint coach with sidekick Nick Braybon.
The onballer, who also played a season in Darwin after leaving Learmonth, is a league best and fairest winner with the Saints, collecting the Crathern Medal as the competition’s most valuable player in 2012. He is also a two-time best and fairest at club level.
He will pull on the Learmonth colours for the first time since 2009, a year that saw the senior team reach the preliminary final.
The club has confirmed Powell will share the coaching position with Northey, who narrowly failed in taking the Lakies to the finals in his first year at the helm.
Learmonth had finals all but in the bag with three rounds of the home-and-away season remaining, but dropped the last three games to miss out on the top eight by two points.
Northey will take more of back-seat role next season, but still command a 50-50 spread of power with the incoming Powell.
The appointment helps cover the loss of assistant coach Chris McGuigan, who has joined Gordon in an assistant’s role to Eagles’ coach Corey Grills.
The off-season transfer is a shock to the Lakies, with McGuigan set to play against his brother Pat — who remains at Learmonth.