Three-time premiership player and former captain Jarrett Giampaolo is stepping into senior coaching for the first time with his long-time football home Redan.
He follows in the footsteps of another decorated Lion in Brendan Peace, who did not pursue a third season at the helm owing to family commitments.
Giampaolo said he had been keen to get into coaching in some capacity next year and the playing coach appointment had come after he broached this desire with the club.
He said he appreciated the opportunity the Lions were giving him.
Giampaolo is not new to leadership roles at the club.
Originally from Horsham, Giampaolo joined Redan in 2006 and was captain for three years from 2014.
This came after he played in the 2007, 2009 and 2011 premierships in the Ballarat Football League.
Giampaolo said he had had opportunities to take training and play a part in the development of promising youngsters.
He said development would continue to be a focus for Redan, although there would be youngsters with up to two seasons under their belt who would have to take more responsibility.
Giampaolo said club was set to retain most players – in contrast to the relatively high turnover of the past few seasons – and he was expecting the Lions to quickly climb back up the ladder.
Redan finished ninth with just three wins this year – missing finals for the first time since 2008.
Redan president Damian Linton said it was pleasing to get the appointment finalised early with what would be a smooth transition.
He said part of the appointment was ensuring he had the right support structure around him for match days to allow him fullfil playing and coaching commintments.
Linton said it had been enocoruaging to someone of the calibre of Giampaolo from within the club express a desire to take on the challenge of coaching.