VETERAN defender Tim Friend will coach Horsham District Football League side Natimuk next year.
Friend, 29, was assistant coach of the Rams this year under Dylan Wright.
Next season will be his first year as a senior head coach.
Friend played in 17 of the Rams’ 18 matches this year and was named among their best players on eight occasions.
Despite playing the majority of his time at centre half-back, Friend also led the team in goal-kicking.
He represented the district league in this year’s interleague match against Loddon Valley Football League and was a stand-out in defence.
Friend said he had always wanted to try his hand at coaching.
“That’s what my ambition to do is – to coach – so I’ve finally had the chance and had the faith of the people at the footy club I was at to give me a shot,” he said.
The Rams have also signed new recruits – former Kalkee key forward Tim Edgerton and Kowree-Naracoorte-Tatiara Football League Border Districts player Greg Hamilton.
Friend said the trio would add depth and experience to the side.
“Edgerton is a six-foot-four bloke and he’s agile so that’s going to help us a lot to have that big key target up there,” he said.
“He hasn’t played for a couple of years but when he did play he was a fairly good junior.
“Greg Hamilton is a midfielder-forward who has good skills and good pace so that’s exciting for us.''
The Rams had one of their best seasons in more than a decade this year as they narrowly missed the finals.
Friend said missing out again was not an option next year.
“You’re kidding yourself if your goal isn’t to play finals and although we finished eighth this year, it’s probably not a true indication of where we deserved to finish,” he said.
“We have the side to play finals and that’s why I wanted to hang around this year and get on board.
“We want to win premierships like any other side but the first thing you need to achieve is to play finals, so that’s our goal next year.”
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