FORMER South Launceston State League premiership coach Mitch Thorp has quit the TSL's newest club Western Storm leaving it without a coach just two weeks after its official launch.
The 24-year-old Thorp has signed a two-year contract as a playing assistant coach with SANFL club Glenelg in a last-ditched effort to resurrect his AFL draft chances.
Thorp advised club president Michelle Strickland and the playing group of his decision yesterday.
``I have really struggled with the decision and it has been a very difficult decision for me to make given I've got a young family and another baby on the way and we don't know anyone in Adelaide,'' he said.
``However, I'm fairly clear this is my last opportunity to play AFL footy so I've got to play this season in the SANFL and have a crack at it.
``I don't want to be 30 years of age and regret not going.''
Thorp said the offer from Glenelg came after the Western Storm's official launch when he committed to lead the club in its first season in the TSL with the core of the South Launceston premiership team from this season.
``I didn't know at the time of the launch and I was going to stay in Tassie and was fully committed to the Storm, but life throws some things up and this was one that came a bit later,'' he said.
Strickland said the Storm was disappointed to lose a coach and player of Thorp's calibre, but said he was going with its full support.
``Clearly we are disappointed because Mitch is a great player and a great coach and he has been a great support to us setting the club up.
``I wouldn't call it a setback _ it's a hiccup we would have preferred not to have had.''
He said the Western Storm would begin the search for a new coach immediately and hoped to have one appointed by the time preseason training restarted in the new year.
``We've already got some processes in place now to find a replacement coach and I'm confident that we will have somebody in place in a timely manner.
``We'll convene a selection process as early as next week to get started and talk to some people and make a decision and we're aiming to have someone in place by the time we have resumed preseason training on January 6.''