Damien Smith stepping down at Broadmeadow Magic

BROADMEADOW Magic coach Damien Smith informed his players at last night’s training that he will step down from the position at the end of the Northern NSW State League season.

Smith’s assistant Robert Virgili plans to step into the head coaching role next season.

Smith is resigning due to family reasons but said he hoped to remain associated with the club in a lesser capacity.

‘‘I’m just going to take a step back and help out on the side,’’ Smith said.

In his first tenure at Magic from 2002 to 2007, Smith won minor premierships in 2003 and 2005 and grand finals in 2004 and 2005.

Smith and Virgili arrived as a double act at the club in 2010, replacing Peter McGuinness.

His second stint at Wanderers Oval has produced more success with the minor and major championship double last year, and the club is second on the ladder this season.

Meanwhile, Charlestown City Blues coach Mark Wilson is expected to promote midfielder Aaron Pritchard back into first grade tonight for the rescheduled match against Edgeworth at Jack McLaughlan Oval.

Pritchard has been hampered by an ankle injury for the past two months and pulled up lame three weeks ago when he returned too soon.

On Sunday against Valentine Phoenix at Cahill Oval Pritchard made a more successful comeback, scoring two goals in the under23s.

The Blues striker Scott Smith will miss the match as he is away on work commitments, while midfielder Robbie True is in doubt due to a calf injury.

Wilson has identified the match against Edgeworth as an opportunity to derail one of their semi-final threats.

Charlestown are in fourth spot on 24 points from 11 games, while the Eagles (13) are seventh.

‘‘It’s important game and they will be up for it,’’ Wilson said.

Over the next fortnight the Blues have a demanding schedule and Wilson said he plans to impose a rotation system.

On Sunday Charlestown host West Wallsend and then play South Cardiff next Wednesday in a rescheduled match, before travelling to Coffs Harbour to play their State Cup semi-final game against Lismore Workers on July 14.

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