Bulls on the hunt for new coach

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

Mt Barker are on the hunt for a new coach after Shane Thompson announced he will not lead the Bulls into the 2018 season.

After two years at the helm, including a heart-breaking three-point grand final loss to North Albany in 2016, Thompson has decided to call quits on his coaching stint at the Bulls.

Thompson, who played for the Bulls as a junior, was part of a travelling cohort from Perth that helped turn the league side’s fortunes and said he had enjoyed his time in Mt Barker.

“To be able to come and coach the side where it all started for me was really exciting,” he said.

“The aim was to be competitive and we have certainly done that over the past two years.”

After going down narrowly to the Kangas in 2016, the Bulls went into the new season as warm flag favourites after poaching Kleemann medallist Matt Smith and the competition’s leading goal scorer Daniel Parker from their grand final opponents. However, the Bulls failed to live up to their expectations and were eventually eliminated in the preliminary final by Royals.

Thompson said he believed the Bulls were now in a better position. “It would have been great to be able to pinch a flag last year but unfortunately we couldn’t get that done,” he said

“From where the footy club was in 2015 to where it is now, there has certainly been some significant improvement.

“It’s always going to be hard for small country towns like Mt Barker to keep a footy club going and it’s a year-to-year thing.

“But the competition needs the Bulls, Denmark and the Sharks to be competitive for this to be a good league.”

Bulls president Gordon Reid said he expected the club to pursue a local coach.

“We’ll hopefully talk to some local guys; we want a more local group going forward,” he said

Meanwhile, utility Corey Byrne won the Bulls’ best and fairest award on Friday night.

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