Mitch Sykes leaves Turvey Park to return to Lockhart

SHOCK SWITCH: Former Turvey Park coach Mitch Sykes, pictured directing traffic this year, has returned to Lockhart after a season with the Bulldogs. Picture: Les Smith
SHOCK SWITCH: Former Turvey Park coach Mitch Sykes, pictured directing traffic this year, has returned to Lockhart after a season with the Bulldogs. Picture: Les Smith

Former Turvey Park coach Mitch Sykes has made the shock move back to the Hume League.

Sykes returns to Lockhart to take an assistant coach role under Jordan Harrington and Jake Phillips.

It comes after he helped turn the Riverina League club into a much more competitive force last season.

Sykes led the Bulldogs up the ladder in 2017 despite struggling with a back complaint.

He spent most of the season on the sidelines, playing just the two games, but helped lift Turvey Park from last to seventh.

They won four games this year after going winless for two seasons before that.

The injury was the reason given for stepping down from the coaching role.

In August he announced he was stepping back, but incoming Turvey Park coach Truman Carroll said Sykes made the surprise announcement on Wednesday night.

“He didn’t think his body would be able to hold up for next year for our standard,” Carroll said. “It was a big surprise as he has a lot of talent and potential.” 

However Carroll confirmed Sykes’ brother Jeremy will remain in the club after being securing him as one of the assistant coaches.

Lockhart have also lured Andrew Emery back to the club from the Bulldogs.

Emery won the Hume league’s Rising Star award in 2016 before crossing to the Riverina League for a season.

Phillips is thrilled to have them back onboard.

“It’s good to sign up a few really good players,” Phillips said.