IN the WAFL’s worst-kept secret, former West Perth player Geoff Valentine will return to Joondalup as the Falcons’ new coach.
The Claremont assistant coach replaces Bill Monaghan who was controversially not offered a new contract last week after guiding West Perth to a grand final this season in a 10-year tenure that yielded a premiership, three grand finals and seven finals appearances.
He will join Falcons football operations manager and 1995 West Perth premiership teammate Steve Trewhella after he went back on a decision last month to accept the vacant coaching job at East Fremantle. The Sharks are now expected to announce Monaghan as their new mentor.
“It’s an honour to be appointed as senior coach of the West Perth FC – the club that I played for with pride and won a premiership for,” Valentine said in a club statement.
“I’m excited about what lies ahead for this current group and the club by building on the program that has been established.”
The club said Valentine, football director and premiership coach of Guildford Grammar School, brought significant coaching and playing experience.
After finishing playing at West Perth, he had coaching roles with the Wodonga Raiders, Campbelltown, West Perth, Swan Districts and Claremont. He also had football roles with North Melbourne, Carlton and Richmond.
“As a Club, we went through a thorough process to get the best person and Geoff brings a wealth of coaching knowledge and experience which we feel will strengthen our football program,” West Perth president Neale Fong said in the club statement.
“We are confident that under his tutelage the club will continue to progress and excel both on and off the field. Geoff demonstrated his vision for building key relationships, pastoral care of the playing group and support staff, along with connecting with the wider-football community within our metro and country districts.”
Monaghan, who had asked the club to present a new contract to him from June this year, was told just days after the grand final loss to Subiaco he would not be given a chance to continue.
He organised a phone hook-up with his players to tell them he was no longer their coach.
Later that week he attended the Breckler Medal presentation night. Captain and 2014 Sandover medallist won the Breckler.