Simon Pritchard with Ben Harvey on Monday. Photo: ANDREW PERRYMAN.

THE Bendigo Bank Spirit have announced that head coach Simon Pritchard’s contract will not be renewed beyond the current WNBL season, with the hunt to now commence for a new coach for season 2019/2020.

Pritchard will continue in his current position for the team’s last two games of the season, against Adelaide Lightning this Thursday and the Canberra Capitals on January 19th, both at Bendigo Stadium.

Bendigo Stadium’s General Manager of Sport Ben Harvey said the time was right.

“As we are now out of play-off contention, it’s important we start planning for next season. The new coach will need to bring sound knowledge as well as the skills to instil a culture of success, determination and growth,” he said.

Pritchard, who has led the team since 2015, said he had come to terms with the decision.

“It was always going to be a tough road – four years, four seasons and not making finals in professional sport,” he said on Monday.

He described the significant amount of work that was undertaken off court during his tenure, particularly that leading to the partnership formed with Bendigo Stadium two years ago.

Harvey said the recruitment process for a new head coach would begin after the regular season concludes.

More in Friday’s Weekly.

– Sam Kane