Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Former Tiger to assist Eagles

Veteran Rochester Tiger Dean Moon is making the move to Echuca United, taking up an assistant coaching role with the Eagles for season 2014.

LUKE MCMANUS December 3, 2013 4:39am

Echuca United coaches (from left) Josh Rankin, Scott Beattie, Phil Hazelman and Dean Moon

Rochester Football Club stalwart Dean Moon believes leaving the Tigers for Echuca United was one of the hardest decisions he has ever had to make.

Moon signed on as an assistant to Eagles premiership coach Scott Beattie last week, after 16 years with Rochester Tigers.

His appointment complements the promotion of United clubmen Josh Rankin and Phil Hazelman.

Moon completes the club’s coaching panel for season 2014, with Rankin named a senior assistant coach, while Hazelman will take the reins as the club’s reserves coach.

Moon, a life member at Rochester, described the move as ‘‘extremely tough’’ but was looking forward to the challenge of performing for his new club.

He pinpointed a fresh start and the chance to join a successful coaching group as deciding factors.

‘‘Playing elsewhere was never on the cards ... it’s always been Rochester,’’ Moon said.

‘‘But this year I started thinking about my football differently.

‘‘I wanted to take the next step in my career and get into the coaching side of things.

‘‘I spoke to Scott (Beattie) and a few of the guys ... then made the call.

‘‘It took a long time to come to the decision. It was such a tough call for me to make and a decision I didn’t take lightly.

‘‘I’ve been at Rochester my whole career and been through a lot with them.

‘‘I feel like I’ve achieved it all there and wanted to try something different. I’m here now and I’m keen as mustard.’’

While Moon is new to the coaching game, the veteran midfielder has already mapped out his plans and brings with him a wealth of experience, which the Eagles are set benefit from during their premiership defence.

In his ‘240-odd’ decorated games at Rochester, Moon captained the club to its most recent senior premiership in 2008 and has a best and fairest award to his name.

While eager to share his knowledge, Moon said his approach will be measured as to not disrupt the already winning remedy in place.

‘‘I’m very excited to get started. Obviously (Echuca United) were a successful club last season ... I just hope I can help back it up next year,’’ Moon said.

‘‘I won’t be trying to change too much. Everything is working at the minute so I’ll just ease into it.

‘‘I’ve had five different coaches in my career, all of whom have had different influences on my football.

‘‘I’ll be taking bits and pieces from all of them and forwarding it on.’’

Apart from the new job and his first Murray Football League game, Moon said he was looking forward to spending time with his new teammates, the many ‘passionate’ Echuca United supporters and former Rochester teammates Guy Campbell, Phil Hubbard, Clayton Zanella, Rhys Egan and Daniel Cavallaro.

Echuca United starts preseason on Wednesday from 6pm, at Echuca South Oval.

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