Right from the first time I spoke to Osborne I was impressed by the professionalism and they had a clear vision of what they wanted.Joel Mackie
JOEL Mackie has called time on his decorated Ovens and Murray career and will coach Osborne next season.
In a huge coup for the newly crowned premier, Mackie has initially signed a one year deal.
Mackie's father, Rob, coached Osborne in 1978-79.
The dual Morris medallist said it was an agonising decision to leave the Albury Sportsground.
"It was a tough call considering how much Albury has looked after my family and I and the amount of success the club has had over the past decade," Mackie said.
"But I just feel now that the time is right to do something different and have a crack at coaching again.
"I feel when I co-coached alongside Shaun Daly a couple of years ago that while it was a steep learning curve that I gained a lot of knowledge from it.
"I will take a lot out of that and will no doubt be better for the experience this time round."
Osborne has a long history of luring former star O&M players as coaches.
Tony McTavish, Craig Smith, Michael Buchanan, Graham Hart and Daniel McAlister are all premiership coaches with the Tigers.
Mackie said he was immediately impressed by the Osborne hierarchy after their first meeting.
"Right from the first time I spoke to Osborne I was impressed by the professionalism and they had a clear vision of what they wanted," he said.
"Going forward from there I went out to have a look at Osborne play in early August when we had the split round.
"I had an inkling then I would probably end up coaching out there.
"I just had a really good feeling about the club and how professional it is run.
"I'm really excited now that I've made the decision to commit."
Mackie replaces Matt Rava at the helm with the dual premiership coach keen to remain at the Tigers as a player.
The Tigers have also re-signed Sam Livingstone as assistant coach for next season.
"It's good that Sam has recommitted because he lives at Tangambalanga and we will be able to travel together," Mackie said.
"The most appealing thing about Osborne from a coaching point of view is that it is such a young, exciting group still with plenty of upside.
"There is a stack of talented juniors coming through the ranks with both the thirds and fourths playing in the grand final this season.
"Another bonus is Jamie Parr is making good progress after a knee reconstruction and is eyeing a mid-season return."
Mackie departs Albury Sportsground with one of the most enviable records in country football.
The 32-year-old has played in seven flags at Albury, is a dual Morris medallist, dual best and fairest winner and Did Simpson medallist.
Mackie notched his 200th match with the Tigers in July.