Labrador Senior Coach and Football Operations Manager, Perry Meka, will vacate both roles at the end of the 2016 season.
A move back with his family in Melbourne, and the opportunity to work at the elite level in the AFL coaching space was an opportunity too good to refuse for Meka.
The club, and role, will be revealed after the AFL season comes to a close, but Meka says the iron was put in the fire at the start of this year.
“I spent a week at an AFL club in the pre-season, having full access, and just loved it. A role became available that I was in talks with them over, and I was lucky enough to get it,” Meka said.
“That is one of the reasons, but the real reason I looked at that role was family.
“My family are back in Melbourne, I’ve got a nine month old grand daughter, so I am just missing my wife and kids to be honest.”
Meka believes the duel roles he held this year played a part in the progression.
“I’ve always wanted to be full time in footy, and I was lucky enough to do that this year. The experience that I gained with Labrador has been unbelievable in both coaching and football operations, and I think that had a part to play in me picking up a role, being involved in the operations side of things,” he said.
“There are a lot of people wanting to get into the AFL, there is no doubt about that. Previously, a lot of AFL people have had teaching backgrounds, but essentially now, I think there has been a shift to the business background. It is run as a business now, and that is how it’s got to be done.”
While an exciting 2017 awaits, 2016 is still the focus; both on and off the field.
“I haven’t really had a chance to think about next year, because we are still right in the thick of things this year. My focus is on getting the big one at the end,” he said.
Applications for the incoming coach close on Friday, September 16
Meka said they, whoever that may be, are inheriting the keys to a fantastic ride.
“The beauty of it is that most of it is in place. We don’t look like losing many players, maybe a couple will retire, but most of the guys look like they will, or already have committed again,” he said.
“The club is in a good place, I think it is a prized position for someone to just come in and continue with the policies and procedures we have in place. Obviously they will add their own spin to it, but it is a good job, it is set up well, and it’s a prime job for someone to grab hold of. “
To apply, contact Labrador President Nick McGuire via email@example.com
More information about the role is available on the coaching vacancies page HERE
By Andrew Wiles