SUCCESSFUL juniors, undefeated reserves and a strong senior list make Cobden the most attractive home for a prospective coach, according to outgoing leader Wayne Robertson.
Robertson is stepping down as the Bombers’ head coach after two years at the helm, believing the time is right for change.
He lifted the Bombers from outside the five to an unlikely grand final appearance last year and had them finish second on the ladder at the end of this season’s home-and-away campaign before being eliminated in straight sets.
Robertson, a passionate Cobden man, said the club’s future was bright but he felt the players needed a new voice and fresh ideas.
“It was a hard decision for me but I’ve come to the decision in the best interests of the playing group and the club,” he said.
Robertson said Koroit’s rise from fifth last year to runner-up this year after Chris McLaren stepped aside for an outsider — Adam Dowie — backed up his thinking.
“I think our young group is ready to explode,” he said. “If there is someone out there thinking about coaching I think it’s the most exciting prospect.
“Our under 14s have played in the last four grand finals and won two, the under 16s have played in the last two grand finals, our reserves are premiers and champions with a young team and our senior side, on our day, could have been playing on the weekend. There is enormous upside.”
Robertson said after five years of being a strong voice in his roles as chairman of selectors, reserves coach and then senior coach, it was time for a change. He was also conscious of not staying on too long.
“(A lack of) time is not the driving force, it’s more so the voice. I love coaching but the players need someone different.
“All of a sudden you can get a coach who could bring another couple of players and lift the others.
“I want this club to be successful for a long period of time. We have to keep changing a few things and I think bringing a new voice in can have an impact.”
Bombers president David Buckle said the club had offered to extend Robertson’s tenure several weeks ago, with the senior players behind him.
Buckle said comments by former Koroit coach Chris McLaren and Maskell Medal winner Ben Goodall confirmed Robertson’s thinking.
He said Goodall’s acceptance speech, where he mentioned going into the pre-season under new coach Dowie needing to prove himself again, reinforced Robertson’s view about the need for change at Cobden. Buckle said Robertson had played a significant role in transforming the Bombers.
Robertson was named Hampden Region Football Coaches’ Association’s 2013 senior coach of the year.
He said he would continue to be involved at the club.