NICK Pekin has signed on as assistant coach and player with Harrow-Balmoral next season.
Pekin said it was a hard call to make but it seemed like the right time.
“It was a very tough decision, my wife and I sweated on it for weeks on end,” he said.
“We live not far from Balmoral; we felt it was the right time to make the decision and make a change.
“It will be good to get to know the neighbourhood and the area a bit more.
“The travel was too much.
“I’ve got a couple of mates there who are getting closer to the end of their careers without having tasted success.”
Pekin will join senior coach Paul Cleaver, who has re-signed for a third season.
Harrow-Balmoral’s last senior premiership came in 2007, the same year Pekin was winning the first of his four flags with Horsham.
Following the 2007 win he took an opportunity to play for Glenelg in the SANFL.
He returned in 2011 to taste more premiership success three more times with the club.
“I’ve got nothing against Horsham,” Pekin said.
“I’ve done quite a bit in my time there.”
Pekin said that part of the reason he and Brad Hartigan had stepped down as coach of the club was because they felt the club needed a change.
“I’m leaving the club in good hands with Louie Daziel and Deek Roberts,” he said.
Pekin said he was looking forward to playing with a some people he had grown up playing against.
“It’s the first chance to play with them,” he said.
“I’ve had plenty of love and phone calls and texts welcoming me on board.
“There is a lot of blokes there who haven’t had the ultimate success and I’m hopeful I can help out.
“I want to help develop the young blokes that are already there.”
Pekin said he will continue to support the Demons when he gets the opportunity.
“It’s a great club and a great atmosphere,” he said.
“They’re a wonderful bunch of fellers.
“I feel as If I’ve let down a couple of the boys who I’ve spent a bit of time developing but I’ve spoken to a majority of them and I think they understand.
“Whenever I’ve got a free weekend I’ll be keeping an eye on the club.”
Harrow-Balmoral president Rosemary Langley confirmed the signing on Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s great to have Nick on board,” she said.
“We talked to him over the years but his skills have demanded he play in major leagues.
“We consider him a local boy and with his young family I guess priorities change over time.”