Square favourite son back in charge
DUAL Golden Square premiership coach Nick Carter has finally come clean on the worst-kept secret in Bendigo football - he'll be leading the Bulldogs in 2014.
Carter takes over the Golden Square coaching vacancy from Rick Ladson.
This will be Carter's second stint in charge of the Bulldogs.
He coached Golden Square to its 2010 and 2011 Bendigo Football League premierships, during which the Bulldogs won 39 of 40 games under his guidance.
Carter stood aside after the 2011 flag, saying he needed a break from the game, but he's now refreshed and ready to again lead the BFL's powerhouse as a non-playing coach in 2014.
"I enjoy coaching, so I'm really looking forward to getting back into it," Carter, 35, said on Friday.
"I've had a couple of years out of it and it's obviously a chance for me to get back to doing something I love.
"The opportunity came up and having been involved with Golden Square through some good times, it makes sense to have another crack."
Having won two premierships at a winning strike rate of 97.5 per cent in his first stint, Carter believes he still has plenty of room for improvement as a coach.
"In reflection of my first go at it, I was new to it and particularly in that first year, I look back now on some things and think, why did I do that?" Carter said.
"This time, I'll be more balanced as a coach and be a bit more understanding that you have to deal with individuals in different ways."
But the fierce intensity that he coached with on game day first time won't dissipate.
"My job is all about how can we keep the guys performing at their optimum for the longest period of time," said Carter, who made a playing comeback this year.
"We've got a strong list with a good mix of youth and experience.
"We're not going to have to go crazy with recruiting. There might be some spots that we need to look at filling, but ultimately, my job is to bring the guys to a level where they can have sustained performance week in, week out."
Golden Square this year won its fifth premiership in a row after beating Strathfieldsaye by 21 points in the grand final.
Next year, the Bulldogs have the chance to equal Sandhurst's BFL record of six flags in a row, won between 1929 and 1934.
"Mark Lloyd has gone to Wedderburn and James Bristow is one we'll need to have discussions with given he's living in WA, but I'm positive we'll hold the majority of the list we've got," Carter said.
Having taken on the Golden Square coaching role, Carter has had to step aside from the AFL Central Victoria Commission, which he was integral in helping establish.
With Carter's appointment, all BFL clubs have now announced their senior coaches for 2014.