Coolamon will join a growing list of Riverina League clubs on a coach hunt with Connor Neyland to step down at the end of the season.'
Neyland informed the Hoppers’ playing group that he has decided not to pursue a second season as Coolamon coach.
It comes as the Hoppers prepare for one last-ditched effort at finals in Saturday’s local derby against Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong at Kindra Park.
The Hoppers need to defeat the third-placed Lions for a second time this year, and hope seventh-placed Turvey Park can upset fifth-placed Leeton-Whitton at Maher Oval, to make finals.
Neyland said he simply did not have the time required to do the job properly next season.
“It’s not that I don’t want to (coach) but it’s probably not real fair to the boys,” Neyland said.
“I haven’t got the time that’s required.”
Coolamon offered the job to Neyland for a second season but after much consideration, he decided not to accept the position.
He will remain at the Hoppers as a player.
Neyland said he enjoyed the challenges that this season presented.
“It’s actually been pretty tough,” he said.
“It’s ridiculous the amount of injuries we’ve had. We never got to put our full side on the paddock once.
“We would have had 10 debutants, a heap of those from the 17s, and a lot of them have stayed in the team too. I feel like I have blooded a lot of kids.”
Coolamon president Derek Owens said the club could not fault Neyland’s commitment.
“We can’t fault the effort, we can’t fault the commitment, endeavour and his passion for the club,” Owens said.
“More than anything, his desire to bring a lot of the young kids along has been quite astounding.
“He’s been very good.”
Neyland hopes results can fall Coolamon’s way and extend his tenure into finals.
“We’re not playing as if it’s our last week and we’ll do whatever we can to go forward,” he said.
“Ganmain have had the week off so they will be fighting fit, fresh and gearing up for finals.
“We want to try and make it as hard as possible for them.”
Neyland thanked Marshal Macauley for the ‘fantastic’ job he did this season as his assistant.
Coolamon now join Wagga Tigers, Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes and Turvey Park as Riverina League clubs looking for new coaches for 2019.
Griffith and Narrandera are also yet to announce their plans.