THE Western Storm has appointed former South Launceston captain Mitch Hills as its playing coach for the 2014 TSL season.
The 27-year-old, 150-game veteran, will take on the role after Mitch Thorp accepted an assistant coaching role with SANFL club Glenelg and former Launceston captain Scott Stephens turned down the job.
Hills said that although the club had faced a few hurdles in the past few months he was excited by the challenge of taking on the coaching role.
``I committed to the club as a player from the word go and it's something I want to see through,'' Hills said.
``I was in the running as the club's plan B to be coach when Mitch was up to get drafted and all the way until he made his final decision - but I had my work to think about.
``It is something I definitely wanted to do but had probably given it away for this year.
``But then the thing with Scott fell through when we thought we had him locked in so it was another opportunity for me to take the reins again.''
Hills said he was unperturbed that people would consider him third choice in line for the job.
``There's no way around that and that is probably exactly how it looks but from my point of view that is not an issue,'' he said.
``Mitch (Thorp) was the first choice but if he was to move on it was going to be me until I turned it down and we had to look for other coaches.
``I'm not too worried if that's what people think as long as I have the support of the club and players, which I think I do.''
Club president Michelle Strickland said the Western Storm was happy to have Hills onboard as head coach and believed he was a perfect fit for its playing group.
``Mitch has a wealth of experience in teaching and he will step into the role and lead our players well,'' she said.
``He will continue to play and we look forward to the upcoming season in 2014.''
Hills said Western Storm had 45 to 50 listed players and he expected the senior team to be in the top half of the ladder next season. ``We've got a pretty good list and some of the best talent going around in the state so the club has an exciting future.''