Travis Hodgson won’t coach Bacchus Marsh next season, after the premiership coach decided to step down from the role.
Hodgson, who has coached the Cobras for the last three seasons in the Ballarat Football League, had agreed to coach the side again next season, but had a change of heart last week.
Hodgson said the travel component was the reason for stepping away from the job.
He said while his family supported him coaching at Bacchus Marsh, he made the decision to spend some more time with the family.
“I spoke to the committee and the playing group last night,” he said on Wednesday morning.
“The travel from Sunbury to Northcote and then to Bacchus Marsh and back to Sunbury for three days a week for 11 months of the year was too much.
“It has caught up and ultimately the reason for stepping down.
“My kids are between 10 and 17 and they’re at the age where their lives are their busiest.”
Hodgson said the decision was twinged with sadness after a great three years with the club.
During the three years, the Cobras have won a premiership, made another grand final and finished fifth this year.
“The club is happy with how it turned out. I heavily invested into the club and the minute you start to wane, you can’t do the job well.
“It’s been a wonderful three years. I hoped to improve the side and was confident of going places.
“I didn’t expect it to explode the way it. The end result was great, but the journey was just as great.
“The footy club has been great to me and my family.”
In a statement on their Facebook page, the Cobras praised the work of Hodgson.
“Whilst the greatest reward was clearly our drought breaking BFL Premiership in 2016, playing finals in his three years, and along with others helping us build a very competitive playing list are highlights,” the post said.
“His demand for more from the group and his contribution along with many others to the club sees us in a better place than we were in when he arrived.
“He will always be a Cobra and hold a special place in our hearts and minds.”
The Cobras season came to an end on Sunday, at the hands of local rival Darley.
Hodgson said in the end they were beaten by a better side.
“They have had it over us physically,” he said.
“The way we responded that was huge for the playing group. The boys responded well, but were beaten by a better side.
“The loss was our biggest one of the year. I think it was a reflection of the year, it was a frustrating season.
Hodgson said he would likely look at other coaching options in the future.