Bundoora didn’t have to look too far to find its next senior coach.
Andrew Sturgess, who has played 10 games at the Northern Football League division 1 club this year, was announced as the club’s new coach last week.
He replaces Ricky Dyson, who stepped down after accepting a role with Essendon’s VFL side.
Sturgess said it was a big honour to take on the role at a club such as Bundoora.
He admits there is some pressure taking on the role at a club which has played finals for the past 25 seasons.
“The first thing is, I’m pretty honoured and privileged to take over from Ricky,” he said.
“The past two years he’s set a solid foundation.
“People know that it’s a successful club that strives for success. People know what the club stands for and its values are well known.”
Sturgess said his inside knowledge of the club had helped in his appointment, with some players saying he should go for the role when it became available.
Sturgess had already dipped his toe in the coaching ranks the last few years.
This year when he wasn’t playing for Bundoora on weekends, he was an assistant coach at Coburg’s VFL team.
Sturgess said role, that he had held for the last two years, was something that he had really enjoyed.
“I’m only 29 years old and I’m a teacher by profession,” he said.
“I always thought I would coach post-football days.
“I was playing at Coburg when I fractured my spine in 2015. I said to [coach] Peter German if he minded if I became part of the coaching committee.
“I played in Seymour in 2016… Heading into the 2017 season, Peter asked it I wanted to become a midfield line coach as he thought I would make a good coach.”
Sturgess was full of praise for German giving him the opportunity to get his foot in the coaching door.
He said he had learnt a lot under him and then Leigh Adams this year.
Sturgess said he would be a playing coach next season, but wouldn’t play every game.
He said the club was happy for him to keep playing, but he wanted to get a perspective from the sidelines as well.
So far the Bulls look set to keep most players from its squad from this year. Two outs include, Kain Proctor is returning to Fitzroy Stars, while Peter Hood has retired.
Sturgess said he didn’t think they needed to make too many changes or look to bring in a lot of players.
“The competition is pretty even,” he said.
“We finished fourth and ran into West Preston and we all know what they did.
“The good thing about the club is the 19’s are strong, there’s strong twos and strong first.
“The club isn’t solely fixated on senior success. I’m lucky to come in at this time.”
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