A day after Damian Zane revealed he will take charge of Broadmeadow Magic in 2021, he has stepped down as Edgeworth coach, bringing an end to a success-laden four years.
Assistant Keelan Hamilton, a B-Licenced coach, will assume control ahead of the 2020 season-opener against Maitland at Jack McLaughlan Oval on Sunday.
Zane informed senior players at Edgeworth on Saturday that he had agreed to join Magic for next season.
Initially, he had intended to stay at the Eagles for the shortened 13-round competition.
But after more consideration, he decided his position was untenable and he will now take a break before beginning plans for his new role at Magic Park.
Edgeworth insist life goes on after Zane trades Eagles for Magic in 2021
EDGEWORTH treasurer Warren Mills insists that no person is bigger than the club and is confident the impending departure of four-time premiership-winning coach Damian Zane will not derail the Eagles' 2020 campaign.
In a stunning development a week out from the delayed kick-off to the Northern NSW NPL season, Zane told his players on Saturday that he would be taking the reins at fierce rival Broadmeadow Magic next year.
Whether Zane remains on board at Jack McLaughlan Oval this season will be determined at a board meeting on Thursday but Mills is not anticipating a change at this late stage. NPL coaches must have at least a B licence.
"We were already having a meeting with our first game on Sunday," said Mills, who has been based on the Gold Coast in recent weeks. "I'm sure that will be at the top of the agenda - what's going on.
"I believe he told the senior players on Saturday that he wants to finish the year out. As it stands, he will coach this season unless there is a feeling among the players that it wouldn't work.
"All the systems are in place to continue on. I would hope as a person, he is not about to rape and pillage the club if he stays on board coaching."
Zane, who could not be contacted on Sunday, will replace Anthony Richards, who informed Broadmeadow recently he was unable to commit to next season because of personal reasons.
"I found out two weeks ago that Zaney and Broadmeadow were in talks," Mills said. "As a club we are not sitting idle. We have already received interest. My phone hasn't stopped."
In his first senior coaching assignment, Zane has steered Edgeworth to four consecutive NNSW top-division premierships, starting with his rookie year in 2015.
He has also guided the Eagles to the grand final in every season, winning in 2015, 2016 and 2019. They also broke through to the FFA Cup round of 16 twice, in 2017 and 2019, and the NPL national grand final in 2016.
"No-one should be in doubt why we are the premier club," Mills said. "In the past 22 years we have won 11 premierships. Yeah, Zaney is an important cog in the club. But the reason the club is where it is, is because no one person is bigger than the club. We have been through plenty over the years. That is what the club is about, having good structures in place.
"With the first game against Maitland on Sunday, it's certainly not ideal timing to announce he is going to Broadmeadow. That's life.
"From the club's point of view, we wish him all the best. He has been a great coach for the club and helped us share in heaps of success.
"I think he wanted a bit of a change. I'm not sure how much of it is geared towards the national second division. We are interested in the B-League but it's just not a realistic goal for us at the moment."
Next Sunday, Broadmeadow start the shortened, 13-round regular season away to Valentine, while Edgeworth host defending premiers Maitland in a rematch of last year's grand finalists.