SIX-TIME premiership player Rod Sharp is the new coach of Gisborne Football Club.
Sharp, who played 271 games with the Bulldogs between 1998 and 2013, was appointed coach on Monday night, replacing Kevin Fitzgerald.
Former Richmond coach and AFL umpires boss Jeff Gieschen was touted as a potential coach of the Bulldogs, but the job went to Sharp.
“For me, to get this opportunity is a real privilege and honour,” Sharp said.
“We will be a well-educated and professional team who will strive for respect on and off the field.”
Sharp has a great grounding for coaching having played under the likes of Mick McGuane, Marcus Barham and Luke Saunders.
"There's not just one person who has shaped the way I will coach,'' Sharp said.
"Mick (McGuane) taught me more about football than anyone else, but you never stop learning off people with what they do right and what they do wrong."
Sharp has already signed premiership team-mate Jordan Barham as a non-playing assistant coach.
Brad Spears, who coached the Gisborne reserves to a premiership in 2011, will also join Sharp's coaching panel.
Gisborne finished fourth in 2013, losing the first semi-final to Eaglehawk.
"My aim is for the club to compete with the likes of Golden Square on and off the field,'' he said.
"Golden Square keep stepping up on and off the field and that's the reason why they've had so much success."
Football operations manager John Wood commended Sharp on the strength of his convictions throughout the interview process.
“Rod presented really well, his love and passion for the club shone through,” Wood said.