Craig Allen will again coach the Western Magpies Reserves in 2017 after resuming the role last year a few weeks into the season when Quentin Johnson joined the senior coaching panel.
Craig and his family relocated to Brisbane in 2003 from Mt Gambier in South Australia.
Craig grew up in Mt Gambier and progressed from Colts to Seniors at North Gambier in the powerful Western Border League. He represented the league in Victorian country championships and played in North Gambier's 1989 premiership as a 187 cm ruckman. He was runner up in the club's B & F that season.
He then joined Kongorong in the neighbouring Mid-South East League in SA where he obtained the nickname "Grievous". You work it out!!
On arrival in Brisbane his boys started playing with Kenmore where he assisted in under 12s and under 14s.
His eldest son Jackson joined the Magpies in 2007 and Craig also came across and was assistant coach in Sherwood U16s and then in U18s as Jackson rose through the age groups.
Craig then became senior assistant coach to Paul Grentell in 2008-09-10.
Another son Brady also joined the Magpies in U18s in 2012 and Craig became the 18's coach that season. In the same year Jackson was drafted to the Gold Coast, where he played 4 senior AFL matches in 2 years.
Craig had a year off in 2013 then rejoined the coaching ranks as Reserves coach in 2014, became a senior assistant coach in 2015 and after deciding he needed a break was about to have 2016 not coaching and simply watching his 3 sons play football but again stepped into the breach last year to almost lift the Pies Reserves to the finals after a slow start to the season.
Craig has an astute football brain and good man management skills and this season with an influx of youthful players will look to not only have the Pies Reserves push for finals berth this year but also provide a positive and learning environment to develop players for senior football.