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18 September 2019
By Colin MacGillivray
Two Demons icons will become Saints of different kinds next season.
Former Horsham spearhead and eight-time Wimmera league premiership player David Johns has signed on as coach of Horsham Saints for 2020, while Johns’ former teammate and coach Guy Smith will bring his expertise to Horsham District club Edenhope-Apsley.
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Smith coached the Demons to three of their remarkable 10 flags in a row between 2003 and 2012 and also masterminded this year’s Wimmera interleague victory.
He will replace Chris Oliver at the helm of Edenhope-Apsley.
Oliver announced he would step down after the Saints’ preliminary final loss to Noradjuha-Quantong, but was undecided on whether he would keep playing.
Johns, meanwhile, will take over the reins from Luke Fisher at Horsham Saints. Fisher will remain with the club as a player.
Johns spent the past season providing commentary for 3WM’s Local Football Live, but surprised many listeners with the announcement he would coach the Saints at half time of Sunday’s Wimmera league preliminary final between Southern Mallee Giants and Ararat.
Horsham District side Natimuk United is yet to announce a replacement for Sam Anson, who will step down from coaching duties in 2020, but has signed game-breaking forward Jaydon Stiles for another season.
Stiles kicked 75 goals from 18 games this season to lead the league.
Club president Adam Blake said the Rams were building the nucleus of a good team and hoped to improve on this year’s semi-final loss to Noradjuha-Quantong.
“There is more work to do, but retaining and signing key players from this year lays a really good foundation for next year,” he said.
Stiles said he was excited to sign on with the Rams and praised the club’s direction.
“The players are a great bunch of blokes and the supporters are massive,” he said.
“It’s not many games you go off the ground and you can’t look them in the eye and get a good smile out of them.
“They’re always proud of us and we love having them there.
“I’m originally from Portland but my grandfather, Bob Harders, played for Natimuk.
“Being able to play for the club and wear his number is something I hold pretty close to my heart.”
The entire September 18, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!