HAMPDEN league club Cobden will back a three-year plan designed to help it rise back to finals contention under new mentor Dan Casey.
The Bombers improved in 2021 but were still languishing in ninth place, eight points ahead of wooden spooner Port Fairy, when the season was cut short due to Victoria's escalating COVID-19 restrictions.
Former Camperdown coach Casey, who was appointed at Bomberland in November, said the club wanted to build its own blueprint for success.
"We've got the plan to get Cobden back to where it should be and to get sustained success," he said.
"It's not going to happen overnight. We've got to change the culture a little bit, what we expect on and off the field. We can't just go out and drink three nights a week and turn up to training Tuesday night and do it all again.
"The boys have to get themselves in good shape and go from there. Everyone keeps going back to the Koroits and North Warrnambools but we're trying to make our own. We want to do it the Cobden way.
The boys have to get themselves in good shape and go from there. Everyone keeps going back to the Koroits and North Warrnambools but we're trying to make our own. We want to do it the Cobden way.- Dan Casey
"Once it all turns around, if we can say 'we've done it our way', who knows - maybe other teams will be going 'we want to do it the way Cobden has'."
Casey acknowledged Cobden's rural location meant it needed to consider a work-life balance for its players with a majority plying their trade in agriculture.
"It's completely different for us because we predominantly have all farmers, these guys are out working from 4am until 6pm at night and then coming to training," he said.
"They're not chippies or something who're working 7.30am until 3.30pm or whatever so you've got to have that balance.
"We're trying to help them with (work-life balance) and get them in the best shape because they do want to win flags, of course, but we know we're a long way off it still. We want to get there but we're going to do it our way."
Casey flagged Cobden would field a young side and had strong buy-in from the playing group. Josh Woods and Tyler Murnane have departed but commitment has otherwise been positive.
Casey said a key theme through 2022 would be encouraging his youngsters to "stay in the game".
"The kids are going to be exposed to a lot and play on some bloody good players, so it's just about keeping their confidence up (as they develop)," he said.
"The whole list so far has been impressive with their commitment.
"The club knows there are going to be days where we're going 'wow' in awe of the opposition but it's what the boys are going to get out of it and they know the stronger sides, there's going to be times where they'll kick four or five goals in a row but it's how they respond to that.
"That's what I'm looking forward to the most, exposing the kids to the Koroits, and the Norths, and the Souths and the really strong sides to say 'righto, how are we going to respond to them if they kick two or three in a row or how are we going to respond if one of the better players in the comp is getting 30 touches in the first quarter'.
"They're going to buy in, we know they are because they're already buying in. It's going to be exciting.
"We've been talking about staying in the game for long periods of time and we know if you drop your head that's when they're going to kick four or five in a row."
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The former Colac Imperials mentor said he was enjoying his return to the Hampden league after a seven-year hiatus coaching in district leagues.
"I've had two years off, watching and doing a bit of rep stuff. District league is a lot different. Helping a club that was struggling, I enjoyed that and helping them come back up the ladder a fair bit on and off the field. It was good to be part of that," he said.
"To see what (Colac Imperials) is achieving now is just great. It was good to have a break and watch the kids play and my wife play - she was coaching A grade (netball) - so it's been good to get out of town and meet some new people.
"Especially with the kids, they're exposed to new people. I love the Hampden league and I loved my time at Camperdown. Playing interleague and that, a lot of those boys are coming towards the end of their careers but they're still there so it's been good to catch up with them.
"I'm looking forward to coaching against Nev Swayn. He's a really good mate and one who helped me out a lot when I was coaching at Camperdown."
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