Gisborne hopes it will be third time lucky with its latest senior football coaching appointment.
The club announced on Wednesday that former reserves and under-18s coach Brad Spear will coach the senior team next season.
His appointment follows Rod Sharp stepping aside after being appointed and then his replacement, former AFL coach Jeff Gieschen relinquishing the job over health issues.
Bulldogs president Colin Rodgers said it was a relief to have a coach locked in.
“There have been a couple of false starts,” he said.
“Brad has been in a number of roles at the club. He won a premiership as reserves coach and has coached the under-18s. He’s also been an assistant coach as defensive coach with the senior team.”
Rodgers said the Bulldogs’ young list was a major reason Spear had signed on.
“He’s a good club person so he put his hand up,” Rodgers said.
“It’s a young playing group and he likes to develop young players. He’d have coached a lot of the players at under-18 level and some in the reserves.”
Spear said the senior coaching role was a challenge he was more than up for, although the club had lost several of its top players in the offseason.
“It’s a bit of a fresh start this year with the seniors and sometimes a clean cut is a good thing,” Spear said.
“I will really be looking to fast-track some of our young players with the focus being on improvement and enjoyment.
“The opportunity to coach a young group was very appealing. My role will centre on teaching the game as well as coaching, ” says Spear, who took his first training session on Monday last week.
“The guys have done a couple of pre- season sessions,” Rodgers said. “We had 40-odd at training in the first week and that’s more than this time last year.
“It’s a credit to the group and to captain Jarrad Lynch, who’s leading the way. The way he’s carried himself through the early part of preseason shows he’s the right person to captain in 2016.”