K rock Football

Coaching role for Ruggles

Tom Ruggles has taken on an assistant coach role with Leopold. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

LEOPOLD has confirmed Tom Ruggles will take on the role as senior assistant coach of the GFL club following his return from Geelong.

The 25-year-old was undecided on whether to take on the position he had at the Lions in 2014 before joining the Cats’ VFL team for 2015, which ultimately resulted in the Drysdale product being drafted and playing 22 AFL games.

However, new Leopold coach Guy Morphet says Ruggles will be his right-hand man this year after agreeing to take on the position last month.

“He’s transitioned well back into club footy and he’s really given us his thoughts and processes around football and how he wants to go about it,” Morphet said.

“He’s a good bloke and he’s got a good (coaching) future ahead of him.

“He knows coaching, for some people, just doesn’t come naturally, so it’s something he’s excited to work on.

“Having blokes like him and Billie (Smedts) around, their information is just invaluable.”

Retired defender Jeremy Larcombe has also moved into a coaching role, looking after the Lions’ backline.

Former skipper Jai Thompson will share the midfield role with Richard Hockley after spending last year between Leopold and Geelong VFL.

“The reason we did it as a duo was so he could still focus on his footy, so he’ll do a lot of the on-field stuff and Hocks will do the off-field stuff,” Morphet.

However, despite leading the Lions to their maiden GFL flag in 2016, Thompson won’t replace departed captain Matt Pitt.

Instead, Sam Hughes has been installed as skipper.

“He’s a great leader. He’s got the respect of the group, he knows the place backwards, and people warm to him,” Morphet said.

“We really wanted someone who was really strong in their values and could lead our club into the next generation.”

Twitter: @tom_king79

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