GRAHAM Pratt will end his tenure as Bendigo Gold general manager just three weeks before the club plays its first game of the VFL season.
Pratt confirmed yesterday he was resigning as the Gold’s general manager effective March 15, citing personal reasons.
“I’ve told the club that I’ll be finishing up, but I’ll work through until March 15 helping them out,” Pratt said.
“No doubt the timing is not ideal and it makes the decision difficult, but I’m purely focused between now and my last day on making sure the transition into the season is as smooth as possible.
“In this role there would have been no good time to make a decision like this.
“If it had have happened in eight weeks’ time in the middle of the season, the person walking into the role would have had a big job, but for me, it’s just time.
“There’s a variety of reasons for my decision. Some are personal, but it’s also a role that takes up a lot of time, so that was part of my consideration also.
“I’m certainly going to miss the opportunity to be involved when they run out for their first game as a stand-alone footy club.”
While he is finishing at the club, Pratt remains steadfast in his belief that the stand-alone Bendigo Gold model can be a success.
“I can categorically say that the Bendigo Gold are doing the right thing and the pathway for players is the right thing to do,” Pratt said.
“I’m fully supportive and I want it to succeed. Aussie (Jones, coach) is doing a superb job and there’s a great bunch of kids, so hopefully, Bendigo gets behind them and gives them a chance.”
Pratt joined the then Bendigo Bombers in June, 2011, as the football manager, before taking on the general manager role last year.
Bendigo Gold acting chairman Brett Flavell said the club would not be adversely affected by the timing of Pratt’s resignation.
“Graham has advised the club’s directors that he is resigning for personal reasons and a desire to pursue other opportunities and we certainly wish him every success in that regard,” Flavell said.
“Graham brought considerable experience to the club and I’m sure he will continue to give his best in whatever direction his career takes. However, his departure offers the board an opportunity to actively progress its ongoing review into its management and organisational structures and to implement a range of strategies to position the club for the future.”
Gold coach Aussie Jones added that Pratt’s departure wouldn’t be a distraction for the players.
“While Graham’s departure from the club is unfortunate, supporters and members of the Bendigo community can be assured it will in no way detract from our focus and preparation for the start of the season and pursuit of on-field success,” Jones said.