GREAT WESTERN - Nick Thomas has re-signed as coach of the Rhodes Plumbing Great Western Lions.
Thomas will lead the club again in 2014 after season 2013 was cruelled by injuries to his calf and knee, forcing the midfielder to coach from the sidelines.
It was a difficult 2013 for the first-time coach on the field, with the Lions losing five games by less than two goals, although they had a vast improvement from 2012.
Great Western managed to win six games in the Mininera and District Football League in 2013, compared to just one last year.
Thomas said signing on again for 2014 was an easy decision to make.
"The group we've got has real potential," he said.
"We just need a couple of players to bolster the side, and we can only keep getting better.
"We've got a fairly young list. You've got Lachie Malloy who is 21, and Nick McCartney and Tom McCord are just 18-19 years old.
"Plus Sam Cocks is only 21, so if you throw another year into developing those boys, they're only going to get better."
Thomas will also benefit from his experiences in 2013 as a first-time coach of a senior side.
"I'll know what to expect," he said.
"I've been there a year now and next year, I'm going to expect 3-4 phone calls on a Thursday night with boys saying they're not going to play.
"You hope it's not going to happen, but that's country footy."
Thomas didn't rule out recruiting a playing assistant coach to help out in 2014.
"We'll look into that," he said.
"I've got Craig Notting as bench coach and Dale Hurley helping out, although it will depend on the availability of Dale so getting an assistant coach across is something we have to look at."
With the majority of its senior group already signing on again for 2014, Great Western is currently on the lookout for receiver- type players.
"We have a lot of ball getters, so now just need receivers," Thomas said.
"Obviously we need a tall to help us down forward, but they're pretty hard to come by."
Thomas said there were many positives to take out of this season.
"As a club, we won six games and lost five by under two goals.
"If you throw in the fact the reserves won the grand final, it's a big boost to the club.
"Those players will only come up through the ranks and although we (seniors) didn't make finals, we had a good year. We still walk away knowing we got the job done."
Great Western president, Rodney Matheson said he was 'over the moon' when he heard Thomas had signed on with the Lions for 2014.
"He's shown a lot of promise and for him to hang around to help us build our club is really good," Mr Matheson said.