JORDAN Hedington felt a sense of relief he can return to focusing on playing football for Narrandera after confirming he won't continue as Eagles coach in 2021.
Still just 23, Hedington accepted the job in late 2019 and his first coaching role was delayed when the club didn't play last season.
The Eagles finished last in the Riverina League with two wins from 15 matches and a percentage of less than 45. The club and Hedington feel they will benefit from a more experienced leader as they start a rebuild.
"We've made the mutual decision that I won't coach, and will come back as a player," Hedington said.
"I think it was in the best interests of the club and myself going forward that we get a more experienced person at the helm. With such a young group going forward, we need that experience.
"I definitely wasn't disappointed with the decision, I'm actually happy I can get back to playing footy and enjoying that part of the game again."
Hedington was travelling back and forth from Queanbeyan, where he previously played, which made things tougher.
"It was difficult getting numbers at training. Hopefully with an experienced coach who can move to town, we can start the rebuild who can be there 24-7.
"As a club they're still working out what they need, but I think the goal is to have a coach by the end of October."
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Hedington believes he is of best value to the club focusing on playing.
"They were looking to me last year for a bit of leadership, I'm still only 23 and still finding my feet as a player, let alone teaching other blokes," he said.
"I'll still be involved in some capacity, whether it be helping out on game day to still learn, so if another job came up I could look at it.
"At my age I think it's about just enjoying it, and when you get to 28 or 30 you can have a look at coaching then.
"I'll be better for the experience as a player and person, but I want to get back to playing the footy I was in 2019 and get the club back to where we want to be.
"With all the young fellas coming through with an expereinced coach, I think we can make some big improvements."
While he will definitely return next year, Hedington is hopeful of settling on a two year deal with the club.
"I'm hoping to sign a two year deal, but we'll see what happens," he said.
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