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2018 coaching group confirmed

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - 12:45 PM
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The replacements for 2017 senior assistant coaches Garry Moss and Michael Pratt have been confirmed, with Darren Kowal (pictured below) and Patrick Litherland (left) coming on board to support Senior Coach Earl Spalding.

Kowal, who played 105 games for Melbourne in the 1990s, will look after the forwards while Litherland comes on as the defensive line coach.

Litherland has been in the WAFL coaching system since 2006. He coached East Perth colts in 2015, was a League Assistant at Claremont in 2016 and last year coached Claremont's women's side. Litherland is currently completing his Level 3 High Performance Accreditation.

Kowal, a 1991 premiership player for Claremont, has more recently spent time at the Tigers as a skills coach. He spent eight years at Melbourne Football Club (1992-99), before returning to Claremont where he played a further 89-games (to go with his 16 in 1991).

Kowal and Litherland replace Moss and Pratt, who both moved on at the end of last season after being offered colts head coaching roles at Perth and East Perth respectively.

Chance Bateman, who last year coached the defenders, will take care of the midfield group.

Perth Football Manager Dale Ballantyne says the Club is very pleased with the quality of coaches within the senior group.

"Darren and Pat will fill the void left in the senior coaching group by Pratty and Mossy," Ballantyne said.

"Their experience, knowledge and enthusiasm will ensure further learning and improvement amongst our young playing group as we strive to climb the WAFL ladder."

Earl Spalding enters his fourth year at the helm after signing a contract extension midway through last year. Spalding has now notched up 60 games as Perth's senior coach and will be looking to keep a healthy list on the park this season after an injury ridden 2017.

Andrew Panetta will coach the Reserves for the fourth year running, assisted by Kim VanderWeide in his second year. Bruce Fraser and Daine Burnett will complete the 2018 Reserves coaching group as the Club strives to build on last year's narrow elimination final loss.