K rock Football

Tony to take a step back

Tony Armstrong has stepped down as co-coach of Lara.
(krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

TONY Armstrong has relinquished his role as co-coach of GFL club Lara as he focuses on his burgeoning media career.

Armstrong, who turned 30 on September 29, became the first indigenous person to commentate an AFL match on commercial radio in 2019 and is a regular member of the National Indigenous Radio Service broadcast.

However, Armstrong will continue to line-up with the Cats, with president Shane Bennett confident the former Collingwood, Sydney and Adelaide player will still feature in a majority of matches.

“He’s still 100 per cent committed to the footy club, and to continue to teach and guide the players on the field,” Bennett said.

“There will be some impact associated with Triple M and the Indigenous network (NIRS), but he’s committed to play as often as he can.

“In all honesty, I think he’ll play 95 per cent of the games.”

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Armstrong’s decision to step down will see Shayne Stone, who shared the role in 2019, go it alone as senior coach.

“Shayne’s experience speaks for itself,” Bennett said.

“To have those years at Werribee in the VFL system, I’ve not met someone more committed to developing a football team and a football club than Shayne Stone, and he’s where he belongs.”

Lara has also welcomed back former captain Kane Smith as an assistant coach.

Smith departed the Cats at the end of 2013 for Geelong Amateur where he was a three-time premiership player and best-on-ground in the 2014 grand final win over Ocean Grove.

“They’ve gone away, they’ve experienced new things, and I think Kane’s going to come back with new ideas and a fresh set of eyes,” Bennett said.

“The way Kane’s already been in discussions associated with training programs and the pre-season, we couldn’t be happier.”

Highly-regarded fitness coach Marcus Forbes, who helped Modewarre to its maiden BFL premiership in 2018, has also increased his commitment at Lara.

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