Dees’ smooth transition

O’Keefe and Conroy assume coaching role, Stamp and Ashton to assist
DEES' NEW LEADERS: Milawa has already begun preparations for next year with (from left) Jack Stamp, Luke O’Keefe, John Conroy and Wayne Ashton leading the charge.

MILAWA has ensured a smooth transition in the coaching box following dual premiership mentor Mick Newton’s departure, with a couple of favorite sons set to fill the void.

Three-time club best and fairest winner John Conroy has returned to the Demons following a decade with Wangaratta Rovers, and will take on a co-coaching role alongside Luke O’Keefe, who was Newton’s assistant this year.

Conroy, 28, first played at Milawa back in 2001 in his first year out of the Wangaratta and District Junior Football League, winning the club’s senior best and fairest at just 16 years of age.

He would go on to repeat the feat in the next two seasons before crossing to Rovers where he played more than 100 senior games.

Conroy’s past five seasons have been severely hampered by injury, starting with a ruptured ACL that finished his 2009 campaign before it began, a badly broken jaw in 2010 and then an Achilles problem that sidelined him for all of 2012 and confined him to the reserves for the first half of this year.

But he gradually regained form and fitness as the season went on, and said he was feeling great about returning to the field for Milawa.

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