DALE Cameron’s success with Strathfieldsaye’s reserves this year has been rewarded with his first senior coaching job at Bridgewater.
Cameron has been announced as the Mean Machine’s new coach in the Loddon Valley league, taking over from Marc Lindsay, who is headed to Sandhurst.
Cameron has spent the previous two seasons coaching Strathfieldsaye’s reserves, which included winning a premiership this year.
“I see a lot of Strathfieldsaye in Bridgewater, which is one of the main reasons I accepted the job,” Cameron said on Friday.
“They’ve had a good culture for a lot of years, and I guess it’s a bit daunting taking over a club that has played in the past eight grand finals and won seven of them, but I’m up for the challenge and I wouldn’t have accepted the job if I didn’t think I could do it.”
Cameron believes the opportunity to have worked under the experienced Darryl Wilson for the past two years at the Storm will hold him in good stead for his new senior role at Bridgewater.
“Darryl was a fantastic mentor for the past couple of years,” said Cameron, who has also previously coached Strathfieldsaye’s under-16s.
“I’ve learned so much off him and I certainly have high praise for him… from watching him I know what it takes to be a successful coach.”
The Mean Machine also have key forward Brad Rohde returning from Strathfieldsaye as an assistant.
Rohde played in the Storm’s BFNL flag this year, having also played in Bridgewater’s seven premierships in a row between 2010 and 2016.
And veteran seven-time premiership defender Daniel Nalder, who is playing on, will also be one of Cameron’s assistant coaches.
The Mean Machine’s Loddon Valley league record-setting premiership run was ended this year when beaten by 34 points by Calivil United in the grand final.
“I’m confident the core of the group will stick together; obviously we’ll lose a couple, which is what happens each year,” Cameron said.
“There is already a good system in place and I’m not going to go in and change too much, but I’ll tinker with the gamestyle a bit.
RELATED – COMER REPLACES DILLON AS NEWBRIDGE COACH
“They were only 34 points off winning another grand final, so it’s not like we’re coming from a long way back.
“It will be about putting my spin on things and I wouldn’t have accepted the job if I didn’t think we were still in the premiership hunt and the club is still hungry for more.”
Bridgewater’s football operations manager Cam Davie says the Mean Machine are excited to be bringing in a new coach from the successful Strathfieldsaye program.
“His progressive ideas and understanding of the modern game were key components to why we wanted Dale on board as our senior coach,” Davie said.
“Although we have been a highly successful club, we have to keep improving and developing and Dale brings a lot of professionalism and new ideas to our playing group.”
Cameron is the first coach without a previous Bridgewater connection to lead the Mean Machine since Troy Auld’s appointment in 2010.
Meanwhile, Bridgewater has also announced Claudia Powell as its new A grade netball coach.
Powell also joins the Mean Machine from Strathfieldsaye, where she has spent the past four years and was the 2017 best and fairest.