Just 18 months ago the appointment of Alan Crane as South Bunbury coach would have been unimaginable.
This week, it was made official.
The club on Tuesday confirmed the former long-time Eaton Boomers mastermind, who sensationally defected to the Tigers at the end of the 2011 season to become Mick Grasso’s right-hand man, will take over the top job on a two-year deal.
The announcement follows the blood letting at Hands Oval last month.
Grasso, the 1990 Sandover medallist, had been keen to extend his two-year stay as coach but turned his back on the club after he was told to re-apply for the job.
Crane said the decision to apply had been easy, because of the club’s commitment to developing young talent — something he has a passion for.
“I enjoyed seeing the kids get a chance to play league footy (in 2012) so we are going to stick with what we are doing,” Crane said.
“I will be trying to keep together what we had last season and developing them.
“We didn’t win a lot of games but the atmosphere around the club was good.”
Crane also gave a gushing assessment of his time under Grasso, saying the two had a good relationship.
“I enjoyed last year, I enjoyed working with Mick,” he said.
“I think we progressed pretty well and I just want to continue with that.”
Tigers’ president Bevan Buswell said the club interviewed six outstanding candidates for the position but had not expected a submission from Crane until he applied at the 11th hour.
He said the club was excited to sign a coach of Crane’s calibre, but he also conceded the appointment would have seemed unlikely two years ago.
“Like any other opposition coach to South Bunbury, he (Crane) would have hated us with a passion,” Buswell said.
“But things change when you come over.
“I think he has some unfinished business as far as coaching goes.”