Corey Smith has taken up the challenge of leading Sebastopol Vikings in Football Federation Victoria state league four west next season.
Smith has replaced Michael Busija, who will put his efforts into the role of Ballarat Red Devils technical director in the National Premier Leagues Victoria, as head senior coach.
Smith will be assisted by former English professional footballer Adam Newbold, who will continue to play with the Vikings.
As well as getting the Vikings into a position to challenge for promotion, Smith said he was keen to develop a strong pathway for youngsters from junior ranks to state league level.
He said this would include blooding youth a senior level at every opportunity.
Smith, 33, has an extensive soccer background, having been a junior state representative in Tasmania and playing in four state premier league title-winning teams on the Apple Isle.
With an anterior cruciate ligament injury prematurely ending his playing, Smith turned to coaching with the likes of the Red Devils’ under-15s and under-16s, and last year taking charge of the Vikings reserves.
He also did internships with three clubs in the Bundesliga in Germany last year.
Newbold, 26, first came to Australia in 2011 to play with the Red Devils after a stint with Nottingham Forest, but did not see out the season after a breaking a leg.
He returned to England and only came back to Ballarat this year – playing with the Vikings.