Published on: Oct 11 2018 | Author: Zac Milbank |

New Sturt coach Nathan Grima is ready to tackle the challenge of assuming premiership mentor Marty Mattner’s mantle after signing a two-year contract.

Set to work in a full-time capacity, Grima deliberately targeted the Double Blues’ coaching role to take himself out of his comfort zone, so he could begin his SANFL coaching career with a ”clean slate.”

Speaking on SANFL Radio, the Central District premiership player said he would embrace Mattner’s whole-of-club philosophy while challenging senior players and ensuring the Sturt’s junior players were given opportunity at League level.

Experienced assistant coach Ben Warren is likely to remain at Unley after Grima expressed he was keen for the Norwood premiership coach to continue in his role, while targeting a key forward is high on his recruiting agenda.

Aged just 33, Grima joins South Adelaide mentor Jarrad Wright as one of the youngest coaches in the competition, with North Adelaide premiership coach Josh Carr only 38.

With 88 AFL games under his belt (84 with North Melbourne and two with Essendon) from 2009 to 2016, Grima embarked on his coaching journey with Strathmore in the Essendon and District Football League in suburban Melbourne.

After placing fourth in his first season in 2017, Grima was unlucky not to play off in the Grand Final after his side lost the Preliminary Final by just two points.

The key defender played one season with the Bulldogs, featuring in 22 games and playing in the 2007 Grand Final victory against North Adelaide.