NEWLY-appointed Cobden coach Stephen Hammond bleeds red and black.
The Bombers veteran wants his second stint at the helm to produce sustained success for the Hampden league club which he has dedicated the bulk of his decorated playing career to.
Outgoing coach Wayne Robertson took Cobden to back-to-back finals series in his two seasons in charge, including a surprise 2012 grand final berth.
Hammond, 40, wants to build on that momentum.
The Maskell medallist said he expected the Bombers to retain the bulk of their playing list.
“It would be good if people stick around the club and be successful, not just for two years but for a long time,” he said.
“We are not here at Cobden to finish fifth on the ladder. We want to finish top three.”
Hammond co-coached the Bombers in 2007 and 2008 alongside Wayne Walsh.
Cobden finished the 2007 home-and-away season second and the 2008 regular season third.
Hammond said he had a long-held dream of coaching the Bombers solo and would encourage his team to play fast and accountable football.
“The opportunity to coach a club I have been at all my life (is great),” Hammond said.
“(I want) to be successful and challenge the young fellas who are here at the club and hopefully get them to stand up a bit taller and believe in themselves.”
Hammond notched his 300th Hampden league game in 2013 and was a key part of the Bombers’ reserves premiership.
“It is great the club has given a local a go and don’t have to go outside,” he said.
“They know what they will get.”
Hammond said Cobden would recruit “until July 1” and was confident of retaining the bulk of its playing list.
The Bombers have lost three senior players to coaching roles at Warrnambool and District and Colac and District league clubs.
Aidan Cole has taken the reins at Nirranda and Daryl Beechey will lead Old Collegians, while Adam Courtney has returned to coach Colac Tigers. “Hopefully that is all we lose,” Hammond said.
“It is good for the club that people want people from Cobden to go and coach them, but we’d prefer not to lose anyone.
“Whoever wants to have a go at Cobden, it’s a great opportunity for them.
“The side won’t be picked on name and age.”
Hammond, who coached South Colac for two seasons, said his senior coaching commitments would put his playing career on hold.
“I haven’t retired but I am not playing. But they (the reserves) might be short,” he said.
North Warrnambool Eagles are the only Hampden league club yet to appoint a coach for the 2014 season.