Former Sebastopol Vikings coach Corey Smith will take on the role of senior coach at Football Federation Victoria state league one club Sunshine George Cross.
Smith has taken Vikings from FFV state league three to being within reach of promotion in state league one over the last couple of seasons, underlining his credentials.
The impressive record speaking volumes, which in turn saw him approached by Sunshine, which recently rebranded to Caroline Springs George Cross.
Smith said it was very difficult to leave the club, particularly when delivering the news to the tight-knit playing group.
While he said he would still be around and remain involved in the club as a supporter, it was a job he simply could not refuse.
“I just couldn’t turn it down,” Smith said.
“I want to go as high as I possibly can (with my coaching)...I wouldn’t have left Vikings for many jobs. I’ll still be involved somehow, I’ve got a lot of good friends there that will be friends for life.
“Most of my friends group has come through my association with the club, so it’s definitely really hard to leave.
“They’re (George Cross) one of the biggest clubs in Victoria, traditionally they’re a powerhouse.
“I just couldn’t turn it down...I wouldn’t have left Vikings for many jobs.Former Sebastopol Vikings coach Corey Smith
“(But) they’ve been on a bit of a downward trajectory over the last couple of years.”
Given the decision, it gave Smith an opportunity to reflect on what he and the side had achieved at Vikings. Looking back, he was extremely proud of the steps up the state league ranks the club had taken.
Smith thanked the club for giving him the opportunity to develop his coaching craft and believed the group had what it takes to be promoted.
“The more I think about what we’ve achieved at Vikings, it’s pretty special.
“I owe a lot to Vikings, they gave me my first chance.
”I believe I’ve left them in a position of strength.
“They’re in a good position to move forward. My message to the group was if they stick together they can have a good crack at promotion, I don’t think me being there effects their chances.”