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NTFL club Waratah's longest serving coach steps down

Jackson Clark -

Northern Territory Football League club Waratah have announced premiership coach Ryan Ayres will step down from his role.

Ayres led the Warriors to the 2022/23 grand final win over Southern Districts – which broke a 23-year flag drought – and was the club’s longest serving coach in their 107-year history.

The club released a statement saying that Ayres had left behind an ‘incredible legacy’.

“Ayresey leaves behind an incredible legacy, having played a pivotal role in shaping the club’s culture and achieving remarkable milestones during his tenure," the club said.

“His unwavering commitment to excellence and tireless efforts have inspired players and fans alike.

“Over the Christmas break Ayresey approached the Committee to make them aware of his decision noting personal and family commitments.

“Ayresey will play a key role in the recruitment process, as well as handover and transition into the next season.”

Ryan Ayres broke a 23-year premiership drought as coach of Waratah. (Image: Justin Kennedy/NT News)

After struggling as a club throughout the early stages of last decade, Ayres took over as Waratah coach on the eve of the 2018/19 season and led the club to finals appearances in all but one of his years in charge.

He said that he was ‘extremely grateful’ for all the help and support that he received over the six years.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to coach Waratah over the past six seasons in which my family and I have created so many life long memories and friendships," he said.

“Unfortunately as our kids grow older, their commitments also increase and therefore I have made the decision to prioritise my family and stand down from coaching.

“I truly believe the foundations are in place for this great club to continue achieving excellent results both on and off the field”.

A Darwin local, Ayres was a tremendous junior footballer and spent time on Melbourne Demons’ list during the 2000s.

Current PINT Women’s Premier League coach Rick Nolan – a man who led St Marys to multiple premierships last decade – will take over from Ayres as Waratah’s new coach.


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