PANMURE coach Chris Bant's search for a defensive leader has come to end at Reid Oval.
The Bulldogs welcome former Warrnambool defender Matt Colbert, who departs the Hampden league club after three years, to the kennel as a playing assistant coach for the 2020 Warrnambool and District league season.
Bant said he was eager to add some leadership to his side's back six after its season finished with a humbling elimination final defeat to Old Collegians.
"We identified our back line as somewhere we needed to get leadership in," the playing coach said.
"We do have some good backmen but we didn't really have anyone in the leadership group that played in that area. We needed someone and he will fill that role."
The Bulldogs premiership player, who will enter his second season as the club's senior coach, said he contacted the 27-year-old in recent weeks to pique his interest in joining Panmure.
"We had been chatting over past month because I knew him from playing against him (at Terang Mortlake) and had had contact with last him in the past few weeks," he said.
"He was happy to have a chat but didn't take it too seriously until he saw where we were at as a club and if role would suit."
Bant said Colbert, who works as a podiatrist in Warrnambool, had a number of traits which suited his side.
"I find he has a really cool head when he has the footy and defending he is very hard to get a kick on, which is a good trait for any backman to have," he said.
"He'll work with Daniel Meade, as they are both similar, and with Jacob Moloney, Tom and Sam Mahony. He will fit in really well down there and help their footy."
Colbert managed just eight senior and five reserves games for the Blues this year after playing 31 top-grade matches in his first two seasons at the club following his move from Ballarat Football League powerhouse Redan.
"I find he has a really cool head when he has the footy and defending he is very hard to get a kick on.Chris Bant on Matt Colbert
The defender's final game in the seniors was in a round 15 victory over Port Fairy. He was named best on ground for his efforts that day.
Bant confirmed the club had, at this stage, retained its entire list for 2020 and was chasing a few more recruits.
"Hopefully we shouldn't be losing anyone with injuries and people moving away is not worrying us at this stage and there are no departures that we know of," he said.
Bant is planning a training return in late November as the Bulldogs aim to return to finals for a second consecutive season.
Panmure finished the home and away season in fifth before falling to eventual preliminary finalist Old Collegians in week one of finals.
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