NEW Pyramid Hill coach Paul Grayling is looking forward to the challenge of trying to lead the Loddon Valley Football League club to its first premiership for more than 60 years.
Grayling has taken over as Bulldogs coach after Leigh Davies, who had initially been reappointed for a third season, stood down because of work commitments.
The Bulldogs – who haven’t won a premiership since 1950 – will be hoping Grayling can replicate the success he had at Kerang this year when he led the Blues through an undefeated season that culminated in a 61-point grand final win over Woorinen last month.
Having coached Kerang for the past two seasons, Grayling - a key position forward who kicked 53 goals for the Blues this year - has also had a coaching stint with Wandin in the Yarra Valley Mountain District Football League.
“I’m looking for a new challenge and liked what I’ve heard about Pyramid Hill,” Grayling said yesterday.
“I was impressed by the people who came and had a chat to me, so I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it.”
Pyramid Hill has played in the past nine LVFL finals series, during which it has played in three grand finals, but still can’t break through for that elusive premiership.
The Bulldogs were beaten in this year’s preliminary final by Newbridge.
“That’s why we play the game, to taste the ultimate success, so if we could get it, it would be fantastic,” Grayling said.
“We’re focused on maintaining the list we’ve got and adding a bit of icing on the cake with some new players. We won’t go out and recruit a lot of players, it will only be a select few after seeing where we need a tweak and hopefully, we can build from last season.”
While he’s no longer coaching, Davies will remain as a player with the Bulldogs.
“That’s going to be fantastic from my side of things to have the previous coach there who has a lot of intimate knowledge,” said Grayling, who is based in Kerang.
“I’ll definitely be drawing on him throughout the year, and he’s also a fantastic player, so it’s a double bonus.”
Pyramid Hill president Wes Moon said Grayling was a welcome addition to the Bulldogs.
“He comes with a lot of experience, is a great bloke and an A-grade player, so we’re very lucky to have him,” Moon said.
“I think he’ll fit in beautifully around the club and hopefully, we can recruit a few more A-grade players with him and have a crack at this premiership that we’ve been chasing for 60-odd years.”