HEADING HOME: Sarina football manager and A-grade coach Alan Kilshaw will return to England after this season.
HEADING HOME: Sarina football manager and A-grade coach Alan Kilshaw will return to England after this season. Tony Martin

Kilshaw calls time on Crocodiles

RUGBY LEAGUE: After three successful years at the helm of the Sarina Crocodiles, Alan Kilshaw will depart.

The 32-year-old will return to England at season's end, hopefully as a premiership-winning coach.

"I'd like to be judged on leaving the club in a better place and whatever happens (in the finals) I think that's the case," Kilshaw said.

The likeable lad from Lancashire took the plunge moving from home comforts in the UK to take on the head coaching role at Sarina in February 2013. With partner Danielle, who he married in Airlie last year, and son Auckland they made the sea change from cosmopolitan greater Manchester to rural Sarina.

As a coach, it didn't start well. The Crocs went one from seven that year but once his plans took hold, they made the finals.

Fast forward two years and the Crocs have won their first minor premiership since 2000, with many of the same players that began under Kilshaw's tenure.

"It's a young team but they've been together a while and are all more mature and more experienced," he said.

"I'm pretty proud of them, a lot have made lifestyle changes and matured. I've seen them grow up as men, too."

He told his group of players this season would be his last on Thursday night.

"It was tough," he said. "But we have a great opportunity to win the premiership so it was good to get it (telling the players) out of the way."

The challenge of moving to the other side of the world was never going to be easy for Kilshaw and his family, but his passion for the game is obvious.

"I'm indebted to the club for the opportunity," he said. "Not many would have a crack on an English coach and they did - hopefully I paid them back. It's meant a lot to me and the family as well."

Kilshaw has fielded offers from several clubs, including Queensland Cup sides, but hasn't confirmed what's next for him.

"Sarina worked very hard to keep me another season and the offer the club came back with was very flattering but to progress my career I need to move back to the UK," he said.


Mine Wealth + Wellbeing A-Grade Cup, round 17


 Norths v Moranbah, Stadium Mackay 3.30pm

 Magpies v Sarina, Glenella, 6.30pm


 Souths v Wests, Shark Park, 2pm

 Brothers v Whitsunday, Leprechaun Park 3pm