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Viola to pull stumps at West

Andy Viola will step down as coach of Geelong West at the end the season. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Andy Viola)

ANDY Viola will step down as coach of GFL club Geelong West at the end of the 2017 season.

The third-year coach has confirmed to krockfootball.com.au he told the players of his intention to end his tenure at West Oval following yesterday’s loss to Bell Park despite triggering an option to coach the Giants for a fourth season.

“The club set me some KPIs (key performance indicators) and some standards and benchmarks to hit on and off the ground,” he said of an internal review he requested last month.

“They were all realistic things and we ticked 90 per cent of them, so the trigger clause to go on for another year was right to be activated.

“But it was case of I need a fresh start. It’s been a tough three years to be honest with you, with the club changing its identity and trying to build a list.”

Viola joined the then Roosters at the end of 2014 following the resignation of club great Terry Bright.

After a significant off-season recruiting campaign, with Viola bringing in players from all around Australia, West finished ninth with six wins in 2015.

That was followed last year with four wins and 10th place. The Giants have four wins from twelve rounds this year and sit 10th.

“I honestly believe I started my tenure three years too early,” Viola said. “I reckon it’s going to be a plum job to step into.

“There’s a lot of hard work being done behind-the-scenes to get the club to where it’s at at the moment.

“I believe, on and off the field, it’s in a really strong position, and I think the the young list is improving weekly.

“There’s some obvious deficiencies, but the club changing its identity is going to make it easier to attract these players.

“We’re in control of our points and our salary cap, so there’s no reason why we can’t go out and land a couple of big fish to complement the young and improving list that we’ve got.”

Viola, who spent a season in charge of Queenscliff in 2007, with successful tenures at Port Douglas either side of his year at the Coutas, hasn’t ruled out coaching again.

“You never say never,” the father of three said. “I don’t know if that freshen up is going to be a change of scenery or a year off.

“At this stage, I’ve got no intentions to jump into bed with anyone else.

“And the time my family requires as well, I’ve got to give a bit back there.

“It’s a full-time gig coaching with recovery, reviews, training and match day, then all the planning you do on your own and with the coaching staff.

“It doesn’t leave much family time, that’s for sure.”

Viola is the second GFL coach to announce he is departing at the end of the season, joining Grovedale’s Craig McCaughan.

Twitter: @tom_king79