Coaching in waiting - Jason Salecic to succeed Darren Harris at Falcons in 2024
West Perth premiership captain Jason Salecic will succeed his premiership coach Darren Harris at the helm of the Falcons next year.
The succession plan, which was set in place in 2021 when Harris returned to the club, was formally
endorsed by the club board after Salecic impressed in a presentation last week.
Harris will coach to the end of the season with West Perth probably needing to win at least six of their remaining seven matches to have any chance of making finals.
President Neale Fong said Harris had achieved both goals set for him when he was appointed for the 2022 season.
“The board made it clear that it wanted Darren to achieve two aims - win a premiership and to set the football club up for long term success through developing coaches, including an internal senior coach succession,” Fong said.
Salecic will remain reserves coach until the end of the season.
“I am very fortunate to have a true friend and mentor in Darren Harris who has shown me the way not only in the past two years but going back to when I first started playing for the West Perth Football Club and for that I’m grateful,” he said.
Salecic played 217 matches for West Perth, including flags in 2003 under Harris and 2013 when he captained the club under coach Bill Monaghan.
In 2021, he made one of the most remarkable comebacks in WAFL history when he returned briefly eight years after he had retired.
Harris, who won premierships in each of his two stints at the club, said he would consider mirroring his own premiership coach and mentor John Dimmer in an advisory role next season.
“Our coaching and leadership succession plan began in November 2021 when I met with the club and then its current group of coaches just after Geoff Valentines departure,” he said.
“I agreed to come on as coach and help mentor the next generation of coaches.
“Jason Salecic has become the standout coach who will take the club in the direction it needs to go and has a committed support team around him.
“His values are the West Perth values.
“His character and knowledge will drive the future performance of our great club.”
IMAGE: The West Australian