Ararat Rats has announced its senior football coach for 2020.
Matt Walder will lead the Ararat-based club, moving back to the region in the near future.
Walder, a name well known in the Wimmera league circles, played and coached the Warrack Eagles from 2001-05, including its 2002 flag.
The Ararat Rats were in the process of recruiting a coach since Shane Fisher announced his departure from the club before senior football team's 2019 finals campaign.
President Jamie Toner said he was "delighted" to announce Walder was on board.
"Matthew comes with a wealth of knowledge for the club and we're really excited for the season ahead," he said.
"We've already started pre-season and we're looking forward to welcoming Matthew to the club."
A Wimmera interleague player, Walder is excited to pass along his knowledge of the game to the Rats' young list.
"I'm absolutely excited. I'm really looking forward to it," Walder said.
"I've coached sides which are below average age-wise in comparison to the rest of the league.
"It's obviously challenging in one way but really exciting in another."
Walder said having a young list was appealing as players had their whole careers in front of them.
"Some of these players could still be finding their way and a little bit pliable and you can work with them," he said.
"If players can have a good mentoring development program early in their career, they can remember that embryo stage of their football.
"Hopefully I can make a good impression as a senior coach, first and foremost on them as a person and secondary as a player."
Walder was enticed to the area by employment opportunities for himself, and his wife, making the move from Queensland to Victoria.
"Having some connections with the football region in the area, I had a few contacts and before you know it you're interested, they're interested - a few things had to line up, but all's well that ends well," Walder said.
"In the next few days, I will have phone conversations with the necessary people and start finding out exactly where the team is at and start putting my blueprint on things."
Walder said although not ideal, for the immediate future he will do most of his role by correspondence until he arrives in the state.
"At the end of the day I will be doing everything I can to communicate with the management at the Rats," he said.
"I'm sure they're in good hands and it's only a short period of time prior to Christmas before I get there. It's not going to be supercritical."
Going up against his old stomping ground, the Warrack Eagles in 2020, Walder said it was "always a funny one with some trepidation" to inform them of what was happening.
"I've got some lifelong friends at that club," he said.
"It's been a long time since I was at the club and I loved my time there and the people involved.
"At the end of the day, it's football. We're all doing the same thing, but just in different colours."
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