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Armstrong to retire and coach

By Kim Hagdorn
4 November 2011 04:55PM EST

WEST Coast Eagles premiership player Steven Armstrong is poised to retire and turn his career toward coaching.

In a move likely to shock local WA football ranks the popular Armstrong, just 27, looks set to coach WAFL power club Subiaco’s Colts under-18s team from next season.

He will walk straight from playing into the coaching structure under another West Coast premiership star, Chris Waterman.

The surprise move from Armstrong, who was an Eagles 2006 premiership forward, will bring a premature end to his playing days at struggling WA club Perth.

He last played with West Coast in 2008 before Armstrong was a shock de-listing as coach John Worsfold commenced an ambitious rebuilding on the back of successive grand finals in 2005-06 and departure of West Coast greats Chris Judd and Ben Cousins from their blue chip midfield in ‘07.

Armstrong played 79 AFL games, as well as 93 with his local WAFL club where he has also been captain for the past two seasons.

He was originally recruited to Melbourne from Perth as a second round selection and number 25 overall at the 2001 national draft.

He played 43 games with the Demons and then 36 at West Coast.

But it was just his 10th appearance with West Coast when the tigerish small forward won a cherished premiership medal alongside Eagles greats like Judd, Cousins, Dean Cox, Daniel Kerr and Darren Glass.

Armstrong is understood to have ambitions to make a mark in coaching with eventual plans to step into AFL ranks in either development or assistant roles.

He is understood to have been considered for youth coaching appointments at his own WAFL club Perth, another WA force with strong development programs Claremont as well as Subiaco’s.

Subiaco has played in seven WAFL grand finals over the past decade, winning four flags with two in 2004 and ’06 under current VFL club Williamstown head coach Peter German and successive titles in ‘07-’08 with recently appointed St Kilda senior coach Scott Watters at the helm.

Armstrong’s switch to Subiaco continues strong family connections with the WAFL Lions.

His dad Gary played with the club and his grandfather and WAFL Hall of Fame member Ken Armstrong was Subiaco head coach from 1980-82.

Ken Armstrong is legendary as a dual Perth premiership coach in 1976-77 as well as a member of the Demons famous 1955 title win.

Steve Armstrong was extremely close to his grandad and idolised his immense football brain and renowned communications talents with his players.

Ironically, Armstrong’s career switch was confirmed almost two years to the day, November 5 of 2009, that his famous grandad passed away in Perth.

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