BRETT Fitzpatrick is the new senior coach of BFNL club Sandhurst.
Fitzpatrick, who coached Castlemaine this year, takes over from Shane Meade.
"When Castleamine finally made their decision (to replace him with Shane Robertson) the enjoyment and the want for me to keep coaching was building.
"I know Sam McGee at Sandhurst really well and I contacted him to see where the club was at as far as coaching was concerned.
"We had a chat and from there it's all come together."
After a slow start to the 2013 season, the Dragons stormed into the finals series and were seen as a genuine premiership threat.
However, they suffered a shock loss to Gisborne in the elimination final.
"It will be a challenge for to maintain and raise the level of play Sandhurst was at right throughout the club,'' he said.
"If you look at it harshly, the senior football side probably hasn't had the success that the club's netball and other football grades have had."
Star key forwards Jake Ward and Ricky Symes have already left the Dragons to play with HDFL club White Hills.
"As far as I'm aware no-one else is going, but I'll be talking again to the club and players in the next week or so,'' Fitzpatrick said.
"We'll work out the retention rate and see where we need to go as far as assisting the playing group is concerned."