New Lambton have appointed Brad Jones as Herald Women's Premier League coach after championship and minor premiership-winning mentor Keelan Hamilton stood down last week.
Hamilton coached the Eagles for the past two seasons since they joined Northern NSW Football's top-flight women's competition. In their first year he guided them to third place before this year securing the championship-minor premiership double.
Hamilton had initially signed on for a third season but last week told the club he would be stepping down due to additional coaching and family commitments. He has joined the Newcastle Jets' W-League coaching staff as an assistant to head coach Craig Deans.
"I've had a fantastic couple of seasons with New Lambton and have a lot of love of the players and the playing group for what they've dedicated themselves to for the last couple of years too," Hamilton said.
"So it was an incredibly tough decision to step away but, at the same time, I know I'm doing the right thing by my family and also making sure that the club is in a good position to have a head coach that can be fully committed to the club."
New Lambton's president of the premier group Clayton Harrison said Jones had already joined the club for the coming season as Hamilton's assistant and had now been elevated to the head role.
"We were disappointed to lose Keelan, he inspired a lot of girls who were disenchanted and on the cusp of leaving the game, and he's done a really good job for the club," Harrison said.
Harrison said Jones' "philosophies and the way he approaches football as a coach resonated with club".
Jones coached fifth-placed Wallsend in WPL this year. He and the club parted ways at the end of the season and the Red Devils have since appointed former Young Matildas and Jets player Harmonie Attwill to the top job.