MELTON South coach Mathew Sutton is stepping down as coach of the Panthers.
The club legend and dual Ballarat Football League leading goalkicker announced to his players on Thursday night that he would not coach the club beyond 2014.
Sutton will continue the rest of the season at the helm, but admitted he was struggling to give the commitment required of a senior coach.
In addition to running his own business, Sutton also juggles family life with three young children, as well as being head coach of the Panthers.
“I’ve had 30 years of footy, I’ve probably had enough,” he said.
“I can’t give 110 per cent to the club, which I need to be able to do. We’re doing ourselves an injustice if I was to stay on beyond the year.
“It wouldn’t be good for the club and it wouldn’t be good for me.”
Sutton has enjoyed a decorated career in the Ballarat Football League, which includes being named in the competition’s team of the year five times.
He took over as player coach at Melton South last year and led the Panthers to five wins and eighth place on the ladder.
This season Melton South has won two games and is 10th.
After injuring his hamstring two weeks ago, Sutton will coach from the sidelines this week against Redan. He hopes to be back playing the following week for the local derby against Melton.
“I can probably let the cat out of the bag now, I haven’t actually been able to clench my left fist for a few years,” Sutton said.
“The injuries mount when you get older and the body probably needs a rest.
“I’ll still spend a lot of time around the club. It is the best club I’ve ever played at.”
Melton South president Peter Earl thanked Sutton for his massive contribution to the Panthers.
“Matt is a really good bloke and a terrific clubman. He has been at Melton South for 11 years,” Earl said.
‘’He is very passionate about his footy. I’m sure he won’t lose the blue and white to go to another club. I am certain about that.”
For their opponent this week in Redan, there is a fresh bill of injuries after last week’s loss at the hands of Darley, meaning the maroon and gold has the freedom to rotate players into the side.
Liam Hunter and Brent Dickson will drop back to the reserves, while Jack Jess and forward Nathan Wright
earn promotion to the senior side.
Chris Giampaolo will be unavailable as he represents Vic Country in the AFL Victoria Community Cup, but his brother and club captain Jarrett Giampaolo has been named to make a return after more than a month off with injury.
“We are after a more all-round four quarter effort than last week,” coach Eammon Gill said.
“We always seem to have close games with Melton South and we expect nothing else this time around.”
PREDICTION: Redan can’t afford to drop two in a row.