DANIEL Beard says a season spent as Cobden’s runner reignited his passion for coaching.
The Cobden premiership player will work alongside Bombers mentor Levi Dare in 2018 after signing on as a senior assistant.
Beard, 42, said he felt the time was right to return to coaching ranks.
He believes his role as runner last season, as the Bombers propelled themselves into a Hampden league preliminary final, enouraged him to apply.
“I had been out of the club for a little while because my boys were young, I was playing golf and going to AFL games,” he said.
“Now my boys are into footy and they like going to the footy on a Saturday.”
Beard said he was excited to work with three-time Maskell Medal winner Dare.
The former Kolora-Noorat coach – he spent two seasons at the helm of the Warrnambool and District league powerhouse – hopes his previous experience will be helpful as the Bombers strive to go one better.
“I took over at Kolora-Noorat when it had a similar feel to Cobden now with a heap of young local kids who came through great junior development and coaching,” he said.
“We took them to the club’s first grand final in 2008. I was proud that when I retired the club continued to flourish and claimed a hat-trick of flags when Ben Kenna took over.
“I learnt a lot from that experience, especially when we brought in Paul Gleeson from Terang and Luke Madden from North and the intel they brought back from those clubs.”
Beard, who has also worked with TAC Cup club Geelong Falcons, will replace respected Cobden figurehead Wayne Robertson.
“I step into some massive shoes but all I can do is hope to build on the power of work that Wayne has done with the senior list over many years to get the club to where it is today,” he said.
The group is young, tight and enthusiastic and we are so lucky to have had such a strong junior development program where the players have learnt under the likes of Martin Darcy at under 16 level and followed that through Leigh Walsh at under 18 which has given the kids so much success and a lot of confidence.
“They are keen as mustard to learn, and are raring to go this year.”