Tyson McKenzie will not continue as Congupna’s senior coach next year.
Coming back to The Road as playing-coach this year, McKenzie is a respected person at the club where he spent a handful of years as a junior.
But family reasons will see McKenzie, 29, return to Melbourne at season’s end.
He told the playing group at Thursday night training, letting president Geoff Jacobson and vice-president Greg Shannon know of his intentions a day earlier.
‘‘If everything was going well for family health reasons I definitely wouldn’t be going anywhere, I’d be staying in 2018 and beyond,’’ McKenzie said.
‘‘They (the club) was supportive and thanked me and wished me luck.
‘‘I’ll finish the year off, it wouldn’t be fair on the boys and the club so I’ll finish the year off as per usual.’’
Taking over a senior side which was winless during last year’s Murray Football League season, McKenzie led the team to its first victory in 673 days in April.
‘‘It was a good feeling, probably one of the best feelings I’ve had for a long time in football, getting the win back home at the club where you grew up,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m happy with the improvement we’ve made, we haven’t finished the season yet, but we could have been on the end of a few more wins than what we have but that just shows the club and the boys have more to build on.
‘‘The club is in the best position it’s been in a long time, it’s on the up and not a negative place, but a brilliant place to be around.’’
Departing the club as a playing-coach, McKenzie said a person in a similar role would be an ideal fit.
‘‘They’ll need somebody that’s going to be a playing-coach I think, but also if they’re not a playing-coach they need to relate to a young group because it’s still a young group of boys,’’ he said.
‘‘I think when you get a coach that hasn’t played or doesn’t know anything about the club, you think, ‘well, okay, he doesn’t have his whole heart in it just yet’ — but Congupna has been like a family to me; I’ve got family out there and it was like a family when I was 17 or 18 and played there for five or six years and that meant something.’’
The change also means the talented bowler will not be seen on the cricket field for Old Students this summer.
He finished with a remarkable premiership, having taken the final wicket to bring the Students their first Haisman Shield premiership in 40 years.
‘‘I probably won’t even play cricket again now; but that was a good way to finish, with a flag. I’ll definitely continue to play footy though, I don’t think I’m finished yet,’’ McKenzie said.