THE Orange Tigers will be on the hunt for a new player-coach in 2013 after last year’s mentor Joashim Mahon announced his retirement from the sport.
Mahon is suffering from sciatica in his knee, a condition caused by irritation to one of the large nerves, commonly known as the sciatic nerve, to the legs and thighs.
The injury has also caused Mahon some discomfort in his back.
So much so, after the Tigers final game in 2012, a 11-6 (82) 5-11 (41) loss to the Cowra Blues in the Central West AFL preliminary final, Mahon took a week off work because he couldn’t walk.
The first year mentor said while “a tough gig”, the Tigers coaching role was an enjoyable one.
But it’s time for a priority shift.
“I’ve just got to the stage where I’ve got to start worrying about other things,” Mahon said.
“I don’t want to be 40 and walking around like an old man.
“There’s more important stuff than sport.
“I’m just finishing up, my body can’t handle playing footy at the moment.”
Obviously, Mahon doesn’t need to play to continue coaching the Tigers in race for the 2013 flag.
He won’t be back as the side’s mentor though.
“I’ll still be out there helping out,” he said.
“I’ve got some great mates at the club.”
Mahon’s retirement is a body blow for the Tigers, with the 25-year-old often the glue in a line-up forced to change on a regular basis due to shift work at the mine.
Although he won’t be there, he is confident the club will continue to improve on its 39-point semi-final win over Parkes and become one of the competition’s premier outfits.
“I think they can build,” Mahon said positively.
“It’s one of those clubs where there’s always going to be players coming in and out at the end of the season, but if they get three or four new guys that are handy players turn up in town, there’s no reason they can’t challenge.”