Swans coach to step down
HARDING GIVES CLUB CHANCE TO RECRUIT
SWAN Districts coach Greg Harding will step down at the end of the season as one of the longest-serving WAFL mentors of the decade.
Harding will have guided Swans for seven campaigns since 2011 when he puts away the magnet board, second only to West Perth strategist Bill Monaghan among the current crop of coaches.
Monaghan is into his ninth season at the Falcons, while Subiaco’s Jarrad Schofield and Peel’s Cam Shepherd are third in line, leading a fifth year at their respective clubs.
The 2010 premiers have a 66-73 win-loss record with Harding at the helm, negatively skewed by a tough 2016 season in which the club won just two games.
A finals win has eluded the Great Southern Football League product, with Swans featuring in four losses across three consecutive series from 2012 to 2014.
But a post-season victory could come in his farewell year, with the side holding some breathing room in fourth position on the WAFL table with four matches remaining.
Harding said he made the in-season announcement to give the club plenty of time to source a new leader.
The former West Coast and Fremantle footballer was confident he would leave the Black Ducks in a good place.
“I firmly believe the decision is timely and during a period when the club is progressing strongly both on and off the field,” he said.
“Since moving to the Swan Valley over 10 years ago, the club and people within have become a massive part of my life and will continue to be in the future.
“Right now, we have games to win to ensure a major competition presence during September.”
Club president Peter Hodyl said Harding would leave a “very big hole to fill”.
He emphasised the 40-yearold’s involvement at the club beyond his league role.
“It’s extremely disappointing to lose a person of Greg's character and football knowledge,” he said.
“Greg’s not just our senior coach, he’s actively involved in all grades at Swans. His ability to communicate openly with all and sundry is a rare characteristic.”
Greg Harding is putting the training whistle away.