PAST Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong premiership player Jason McPherson is easing into his role as Southern NSW AFL's new regional manager.McPherson moved from the area 13 years ago but has returned to Wagga to take up the position just as the code enters an "exciting" new era.AFL is investing more resources in the region than ever before, with former regional manager Paul Habel moving into one of a number of new roles being created in the Wagga office.McPherson arrives at Wagga's AFL House after an extended stint as regional manager of Sydney's eastern suburbs.McPherson said he was happy to be back home in a strong football region."It's nice to be home and back among people who know football," McPherson said yesterday."Up in Sydney, there is so many people with no idea."Everything's going good so far but I haven't really had a chance to sink my teeth into things yet."McPherson said there was no better time to start his role in Southern NSW."It's exciting times with the new structure," McPherson said."Just from listening to people so far, the chance of relegation, no matter who you are, has really kept everyone on their toes."Also for Farrer League teams, they now have the opportunity to perform both on and off the field with the pathway to the so-called premier league in the RFL."McPherson, though, will spend more time focusing on junior development."My job description is truly regional and mostly to do with the game at grassroots level," McPherson said."A lot to do with Auskick and school programs along with junior clubs."I'll also assist our development managers around the region."After five years as Southern NSW regional manager, Habel has begun his new role as football services manager, as well as being a board member of AFL Riverina.Shane Buchanan has taken up the new role of full-time football operations manager, while Ben Dehlsen has stepped into the inaugural full-time role of football operations co-ordinator.Luke Olsen has moved into a full-time umpire development role.Paul Kelly will also be based in the Wagga office as part of his new job with Team Greater Western Sydney.
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