After two development league grand finals at Launceston, Kane Sanders' coaching skills have been called upon by NTFA division one grand finalists Old Launcestonians.
Making the switch between Blues, Sanders was planning on stepping down from his Launceston role and taking a back seat from coaching before OLs president Tom Harrison got in touch.
"I just thought I'd do some stuff down at the Launnie Football Club, go to trainings, do that sort of stuff and tone it back," Sanders said.
"But then the opportunity at OLs came up and I thought it's too good of an opportunity to waste.
"I thought it would make me more of a well-rounded coach, going from age brackets of 16 through to 20-odd to have an older age bracket and take on a senior group."
Luckily for Sanders, the group he's taking over has been in and around the top four in the previous few seasons through the work of Paul Beechey (2019) and more recently, Laine Cleaver (2020 and 2021).
Beechey took the Blues to an elimination final before handing the reins to Cleaver for a seventh-placed NTFA Shield finish and this season's grand final, going down to heavy favourites Lilydale by only 17 points.
Despite the solid base behind him, Sanders admitted the transition from State League to NTFA coaching will be challenging.
"Coming under Mitch Thorp and the way he runs his operation at Launnie, it's well oiled, they are semi professional, they are training three nights a week and are fully invested," he said.
"So take it down a couple of pegs to guys that just want to turn up and have a bit of fun and kick with their mates and all that sort of stuff, so it will be challenging for me.
"That's part of the reason why I took it on, to take that challenge and see how I cope with it."
Sanders is no stranger to a challenge however, coming off a decade-long hiatus from football to coach Launceston in 2020, turning them around from cellar-dwellers the previous year to premiers.
The Blues enjoyed a 29-5 win-loss record during Sanders' two-year stint, going down to Clarence in the grand final this season.
"To take on those bunch of kids from where they were at, they'd hardly won a game the year before I took them on, and they are a fantastic group of young men.
"They listened, they took on board what I had to say, they were fully invested, so I can't thank the Launnie Football Club enough for getting me back into footy.
"They gave me that little step into footy that I hadn't had for like 10 years, they opened that window to reignite my passion for the game."
Having played over 150 games at Launceston, Sanders is a life member with the Blues and has also plied his trade at North Launceston.
He headed to Longford before retiring from football and moving into the netball sphere with daughters Piper and Annabelle who play for the Cavaliers.
Sanders hopes he can get OLs to go one step further and take the premiership from the Demons.
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