K rock Football

Holwell, Taylor call time at Tigers

Brent Taylor (right) lifts the 2018 premiership cup with co-coach Reece Holwell and captain Sam Jacka. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Marcel Berens)

OUTGOING Thomson coach Reece Holwell says he is proud of the position he has left the club in.

Holwell and trusted lieutenant Brent Taylor will depart Godfrey Street after five years in charge, telling players and supporters at the Tigers’ presentation night on Thursday they have knocked back an offer of a sixth year in charge in 2020.

“We’re knackered; we’re pretty burnt out at the moment,” the Whitley medallist told krockfootball.com.au.

“We feel the club will benefit from a new voice.

“Playing and coaching got really tough before the end.”

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Holwell, who was the standalone coach in 2019, and Taylor took over at Thomson after it had “won” the 2014 wooden spoon.

In exactly 100 games in charge, the Tigers won 74 games and lost 26, featured in four finals series, winning the 2018 premiership and finishing runner-up this year.

“The club took a chance on us early, and we took a chance a club that wasn’t where they had been previously,” Holwell, who finished runner-up to Jono Casey in the Tigers’ best-and-fairest, said.

“We worked really hard to get them back up into contention.

“We feel like we’ve laid some good foundations for someone else to come on and take over the role.

“Five years is a long time, and we poured everything into it.

“The first couple of years were the hardest trying to the club into a position where we could really have a crack at a grand final.

Holwell revealed he and Taylor had decided before Thomson’s finals campaign that they wouldn’t be continuing beyond this year.

“We didn’t want to announce leading into (the finals) and unsettle anything,” he said.

“After the grand final, everyone was pretty flat about that.

“We let the club know earlier this week, and then we announced it the club and the playing group last night at presentation night.

Holwell is aware stepping down at Thomson will see the 35-year-old linked with a romantic return to Drysdale, where he is a two-time premiership player, to finish his career.

However, he is in no rush to decide what the future holds.

“I’ll have a break for a month or two,” Holwell said. “There’s nothing in the works at the moment; I just need to get away for a little bit.

“It’s been tiring work the last couple of years, and I just need a bit of a recharge, and I’ll reassess when I’m a bit more rested up.

“The body feels good. I’m just mentally exhausted with coaching and trying to get a kick, as well.

“I was training a lot away from the club; it takes a fair bit of a toll.”

Twitter: @tom_king79
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