GISBORNE has appointed men's state and national representative Guy Keane as its A-grade netball coach for the 2017 BFNL season.
Keane joins the Bulldogs after a decorated coaching and state and international playing career.
He takes over from Robyn Baker and Rebecca Bridgman, who guided the Bulldogs to a fourth place finish in 2016.
Keane, who is the current coach and umpire development manager for Netball Victoria, has been a member of the Australian men's under-23 and open representative teams since 2005, including stints as captain.
He has been awarded multiple tournament most valuable player awards in national and Trans-Tasman championships in the World Cup.
His coaching resume is equally impressive and includes a Victorian Netball League division one premiership with Southern Saints.
Keane has also been an assistant coach for the Victorian under-21 and under-19 teams and was an apprentice coach for the Victorian Fury during the 2016 ANL season.
His appointment at Gisborne will be his first foray in the AFL Victoria Country arena.
Keane said his interest in the position followed an approach from star Bulldogs player and 2016 league best and fairest Maddy Stewart.
"She was the state under-21 Victorian team that I was assistant coach of last year and she inquired whether I knew of any coaches who might be available or if I was interested myself," he said.
"We had a bit of a chat and one thing led to another.
"One of the major factors for me in taking on this opportunity is that after the ANL season finishes around mid-April, I don't have a lot of opportunity to do any other coaching, so it's a great opportunity."
Keane was introduced to the Bulldogs senior and 17-and-under squads at a meet and greet and light training session last Wednesday.
Being his first time in the BFNL, Keane admitted he would need to do a bit of research on the league.
But he is already well known to several coaches through his role with Netball Victoria.
Keane said he was particularly keen to have a hand in the development of players from the club's 17-and-under premiership team from last season, coached by Stewart and A-grade teammate Tarryn Rymer.
"They haven't started the actual (team) selection process yet, that will start early next year," he said.
"But the club has said it is open to having a couple of key position players come to the club, so hopefully I have a couple of contacts up my sleeve.
"Gisborne has some really good talent underneath (the seniors) in terms of the under 17s, so there is lots of talent there.
"I am interested in not only coaching the A-grade team but helping develop the club all the way through from the 17s through, and that might include some mentoring for the other coaches."