Clunes has joined the search for a senior coach after news that Nemani Valucava has left the club.
The Magpies confirmed on Monday that Nemani Valucava would not be seeking reappointment for the 2018 Central Highlands Football League season, with the constant travel from his residence in Torquay cited as a key reason for his decision to step aside.
“The drive was getting longer and longer each week, especially after doing so much travelling as an assistant coach at the Rebels and Roosters under Gerard FitzGerald,” Valucava said in a statement.
Valucava was originally appointed to the role in a joint capacity with Luke Webb, but was left to do the job on his own when Webb departed the club.
The season started promisingly with wins over Skipton and Creswick in rounds one and two, but produced just one more triumph for the year.
Clunes eventually finished 16th on the senior ladder following last Saturday’s loss to Rokewood-Corindhap.
Despite not achieving the success he would have hoped for, Valucava said there was some promising signs at the club.
“After being through the doors of three AFL clubs, one of which I am still contracted to, and coaching at every pathway level, as well as in two other states, I am fairly certain that if this group of young players can stay together and build on what I’ve tried to teach them, then they will be a competitive side,” he said.
“When you take on a team with an average losing margin of 121 points and can get that average down to the mid 70s with a few Northern Territory lads occasionally, no key forward and no ruckman after round three due to injury, then there are some really good signs for the future.”
The club will begin the process of finding Valucava’s replacement immediately, with the committee keen to secure somebody on a two-year term to provide stability to the senior group.