NPL Tasmania club Launceston City on the verge of signing off for Jez Kenth as its 'new' manager

STANDING TALL: New Launceston City manager Jez Kenth during his Hobart Zebras assistant role to a seated Peter Savill. Picture: Solstice Digital
STANDING TALL: New Launceston City manager Jez Kenth during his Hobart Zebras assistant role to a seated Peter Savill. Picture: Solstice Digital

Launceston City is set to announce former Hobart Zebras assistant Jez Kenth to lead the NPL side next year.

The 43-year-old coach has agreed to terms and signed a contract on Tuesday for the 2018 statewide season.

But City president Andrew Heap was still waiting for the club board on Wednesday afternoon to ratify the latest appointment after 12 of its 14 members voted in favour.

Kenth coached University to back-to-back Southern Championship titles in 2014 and 2015 before joining one-time City great Peter Savill on the sidelines this year.

The Zebras assistant coach stood in a caretaker role when the Launceston-based Savill resigned mid-year.

But Heap will formalise Kenth’s top position as City’s first-ever manager in an ambitious coaching restructure.

SWITCH: New club president Andrew Heap with his Launceston City predecessor Austin Fagan.

SWITCH: New club president Andrew Heap with his Launceston City predecessor Austin Fagan.

Under the new president’s 100-day plan, the club will next hire NPL coaches to work under the manager.

“We’re going to now have a broader approach to coaching,” Heap told The Examiner.

“We’ll have a manager, not a coach. In this semi-professional sport in Australia, there is a group of coaches and that is how it will be.

“We’ll have three or even four coaches for the first team, plus the manager.”

City had first appointed Heap mid-season as the club’s director of football.

He revealed coach Ben Brookfield was told he would not be in charge of City soon after his appointment.

“I had told Ben, ‘you’re not coaching NPL next year’ and he was obviously pretty disappointed,” Heap said.

“There was no point mucking around – I just told him.

“I said ‘we want you – you’re a great trainer of the boys, but not the manager.”

He said Brookfield will be “always welcome at the club”.

Heap, 59, who played at City from 1976 to 1982 before injuries cruelled his playing days, wants to consolidate on Tasmanians to save the attrition rate of fly-in players.

“We’ll go local first, then we’ll start feeling out. If we go interstate for players, I’m not that happy,” Heap said.

“So we’ve got 12 under-21s and six of them can play NPL, and we’ve got another six boys who are okay and we want to bring another four, maybe five or six, as many as we can into the side.”