Powell signs two-year deal at Learmonth as Northey departs

John Northey has stood down as co-coach of Learmonth.
John Northey has stood down as co-coach of Learmonth.

BRENTON Powell has been trusted to lead Learmonth into the future after accepting a two-year deal as sole senior coach of the club.

Powell's signing follows the departure of John Northey, who shared the role with Powell in 2014.

Northey officially stood down from the position following the team's elimination final defeat at the hands of Springbank on Sunday.

The former Sydney, Melbourne, Richmond and Brisbane coach arrived at Learmonth following the senior side's 16th placing in 2012, taking them to ninth the following season before this year reaching the finals for the first time since 2009.

The 71-year-old said there had always been a succession plan in place - where he would step aside after two years - since speaking about joining the club with former president Graham Biggs.

Northey said he had enjoyed his time at Learmonth "immensely" but believed the decision to vacate would help Powell and assistant Paul Phillips expand their coaching prowess and allow them to make their own decisions.

And Northey admitted it was unlikely he would step into any other coaching roles down the track.

"You never know what's around the corner, but I would doubt it very much," Northey said.

Lakies president Matt Hines said Northey had helped spin the senior team "180 degrees".

"We were going down and he turned us around and hopefully we can keep heading up," Hines said.

Hines said he had plenty of confidence in Powell and hoped having him committed for the next two seasons would help with recruiting players.

"He's a really good speaker, coaches well and all the players respect him on and off the field. It was a no-brainer for us to keep him going," he said.

Powell returned to Learmonth in 2014 after four seasons away, two of which included premierships while joint-coach at Cairns Saints.


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