He hails from Queensland and has spent the past three years playing in the Sunraysia League for Mildura club, Imperials, but Luke Sicker knows all about Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong.
“I’ve got family there, the Lawtons,” Sicker said.
“My uncles all played there so my family is entrenched in the club, so that’s exciting.”
The midfielder has signed on as coach for next season, bringing an end to the club’s search for a replacement for Jim Quinn Medallist Jayden Kotzur.
Sicker is well aware of the rich history of the Lions.
“That’s the sort of thing I like about it,” he said.
“They’ve been one of the successful clubs and a proud club and after missing the finals – that’s not what they’re about.
“Most sides would have expectations of going deep into finals and we’re no different.”
Lachie Steward has been appointed assistant to Sicker, who is excited to be offered his first coaching role.
“We’ll be all about hard work and hard running, doing the basics and going from there,” he said.
“We’re a pretty young side from what I can gather and that’s what I’ll be looking to bring, that hardness.”
The 25-year old boasts premiership experience in the Sunraysia League, after playing a key role in the Imperials’ fairytale rise from wooden-spooners to premiers in 2013.
Grand final appearances also followed in 2014 and 2015 but ended in disappointment at the hands of a Red Cliff team led by ex-AFL stars Shannon Motlop and Andrew Lovett.
Sicker played 52 games in his three years with the Imperials and anticipates the Riverina League to be a similar standard to the Sunraysia competition.
GGGM recruitment man, Jed Lawton, said the Lions are pleased to be bringing in a player from outside the league to coach.
“That's always our priority," Lawton said.
"Sometimes it doesn't work out like that and we've been pretty lucky over the years that we've had local guys step up and do pretty well but we like to try and get someone new in."
A bricklayer by trade, Sicker will move to Wagga over Christmas but will be making plenty of visits to Ganmain in the next eight weeks to meet with players.
He’s already been in conversation with his cousin James Lawton who, he says, has a key role to play.
“He’ll be one that I’ll definitely be looking at for a big year,” Sicker said.
“He’ll be mostly playing forward and I’ve indicated I want a really big year out of him.”
With the Lions job filled, Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes is the only club still to announce its coaching plans for 2016.
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