The Fremantle Dockers have confirmed the long-expected appointment of Justin Longmuir as their next senior coach, on a three-year contract.
Longmuir joins the club after an extensive apprenticeship as an assistant coach, including the last two years at Collingwood under Nathan Buckley.
He also played 139 games for the Dockers, often as a teammate of Peter Bell, the current football manager who is expected to become the new CEO.
The Dockers have been heavily linked to Longmuir ever since Ross Lyon was sacked in August, but did not begin a formal process with him until Collingwood’s finals series came to an end last week.
The appointment will now provide the Dockers with some stability heading into the AFL trade period, which begins this Friday.
“It means everything to me to coach Fremantle,” Longmuir said.
“Fremantle gave me my first opportunity to play in the AFL, and for that I’m extremely grateful.
“I left the club knowing there was unfinished business here and I’ve returned determined to repay the faith that the club has again shown in me.
“I’m excited to get to work and get to know everyone around the club. It’s obviously changed a lot since I left but I’m genuinely excited to be back.”
Fremantle president Dale Alcock said the club was excited about the appointment.
“We are delighted, after what was a thorough, considered and comprehensive selection process, to have secured a person of Justin’s calibre and capability as senior coach of the Fremantle Dockers,” Alcock said.
“Given the high quality of the final candidates we were very particular to ensure we made a very considered decision.
“The selection panel was of the firm belief that Justin was the stand out candidate, with his playing and extensive coaching experience at three clubs, leaving him primed to take on the role as Fremantle’s senior coach.
“Justin stood out for us as someone who has been preparing for this role for the past 10 years.
“He’s had a successful career at both West Coast and at Collingwood more recently, and he knows what’s required to win and what’s required for sustained success.
“Justin not only has a great knowledge of the game but, most importantly, as a person he is someone who is absolutely genuine and driven to get our players to be the best that they can be.
“And if our players can be the best that they can be that makes for a really bright future for the Fremantle Football Club.
“With the reinvigoration and enthusiasm Justin will bring to the playing group combined with a fit and available list, we will head in to the 2020 season without any limit on what is possible.
“On behalf of the board, staff, players, members and supporters, we welcome Justin and his family back to Fremantle and look forward to exciting times ahead together.”