K rock Football

Time for a new voice: Ricco

Bannockburn coach Peter Riccardi (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

PETER Riccardi will selflessly step down as coach of Bannockburn at the end of the season, saying it’s time for the club to head in a different direction.

The former Geelong wingman told the Tigers playing group that he wouldn’t be going on Tuesday night despite the club leaving the door open for him to continue.

Assistant coach and former Cats teammate Darren Milburn will also depart Victoria Park.

“I’ve been thinking about it for a while,” Riccardi, who replaced Craig McGough at the end of the 2015 season, said.

“It gives the club a new direction, new voice, new look. How long can you go on for?

“At the end of the day, I thought to myself, the boys that have been there since I’ve been there are more than likely sick of my voice, to tell you the truth.

“It’s pretty much the same message, but you spin it differently.”

Riccardi spent four years as senior coach of GFL club North Shore before a stint as an assistant coach with VFL club Werribee.

His five seasons in charge have so far produced a premiership in 2019 and a grand final appearance in 2016, with a winning percentage of 77 per cent from 94 games in charge.

The Tigers currently sit second with two rounds remaining, in which they play fellow top-three contender Werribee Centrals and Belmont Lions.

“With COVID last year, I thought we’d give it one more crack this year,” Riccardi said.

“If we got out on a high, that’d be great. If not, we’ve had a good run anyway.

“I’m looking forward to the next two weeks, and then hopefully, we bat as deep as we can in the finals.”

Riccardi hasn’t ruled out coaching again but says a support role would be his preference.

“I love coaching, but last year when we were going through COVID, recruiting and having a long pre-season gets you in the end,” he said.

“You plan every week. I watch our game; I watch the opposition, go to training, take the kids to their training – I really haven’t got a night off.

“I wouldn’t mind helping someone if they need a hand.

“But not having that commitment of going to every training session, every pre-season session, ringing up people to recruit, I think I need a year off that.”

Twitter: @tom_king79