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Simon Lethlean returns to coach Old Xaverians

Date

Brad Beitzel

SIMON Lethlean has returned to coach VAFA powerhouse Old Xaverians.

The dominant side of the past 20 years in Premier section, Xavs sit last with a 1-6 record and a dismal percentage after playing an unregistered player in round 3.

Lethlean, an AFL executive, was announced as co-coach with Pat Hawkins to Xavs players on Tuesday at training at Toorak Park. Hawkins was an assistant to Lethlean in 2008.

The last time Xavs replaced a coach was in 1996 after they sat 2-7.

That week they defeated De La Salle in a last-kick victory.

Ironically the rivals play on Saturday at Toorak Park, The 1996 De La match was dubbed the Hand of God game as a flick of the ball, which led to the last goal, was miraculous.

Just as startling was Xavs' run to that year's flag, as is Lethlean’s coaching record.

Lethlean coached Xavs to back-to-back flags in 2009-10 before coaching the VAFA rep side to six wins from as many starts and with it the No.1 ranking in Australia.

A new posse of assistants has been assembled too to tutor Xavs' young brigade, which has been fast-tracked due to a host of injuries, unavailability and suspensions.

But two premiership stars, ruck John Shaw (suspension) and midfielder Chris Waller (groin), will return for the De La game.

Xavs general manager Michael Hardman said Lethlean could manage his family and business commitments.

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