OUTGOING coach Bernie Haberman says he departs Golden Square with a sense of fulfillment - albeit pondering just what could have been for the Bulldogs this year had the Bendigo Football-Netball League season gone ahead.
The Bulldogs announced earlier this week that Haberman won't be continuing as coach of the club next season.
Haberman has coached the Bulldogs since 2017 and while a premiership may have eluded him during his time at Wade Street, he leaves the club after his 59-game stint still feeling fulfilled.
"I don't put winning a premiership down as the be-all and end-all, but I'll be honest and say I'd probably be a bit jealous if Square won one next year," Haberman said on Friday.
"But also, I'd love to see Jack (Geary, captain) standing up there next year with the club and it would have been good to be there alongside him.
"I was fairly bullish about the squad we had put together this year and I would have really liked to have seen it at its best and would it have been as I envisaged with Jaryd Cachia coming in, Terry Reeves, the two boys from Shepparton (Liam Duguid and Joel Brett), Will Thrum and the young players coming through.
"I really would have liked to have watched it and seen what we had put in place over the past four years reach a crescendo because I felt we had built really well year on year on year in terms of our gamestyle.
"There's guys now like Lachie Humphrey, Braydon Welsh, Jake Thrum and Will Lee who are in that 50-70 game bracket and this year there would have been Jack (Geary), Adam (Baird) and Jon Coe who are still in their prime years... you're the hunter, but you could have a list that could have ended up being the hunted?
"Sure, I would loved to have won a premiership, but I still feel fulfilled in the sense of the conversations I've had with players in terms of them feeling they are not only better footballers, but better people, too, and that means a lot."
Haberman was appointed coach of Golden Square in November, 2016, when he took over from Nick Carter.
He had previously coached at Seymour and led the Lions to the 2007 Goulburn Valley league premiership.
The Bulldogs had a 38-20-1 record under Haberman, with their best finish coming in his first season in 2017 when they reached the preliminary final, but lost to Strathfieldsaye.
"There's a sense of sadness that I won't be around the group of players and the club any more," Haberman said.
"I don't want to speak in cliches, but I'm really thankful for the opportunity that Golden Square gave me to get back into coaching.
"I think I did a better job of it this time around than the first, which you'd hope you would and I feel that culturally the club is in a really good place moving forward.
I think I did a better job of it this time around than the first, which you'd hope you would and I feel that culturally the club is in a really good place moving forwardBernie Haberman
"We had good numbers at training, which made me feel good, and I'm sure that whoever takes over will have a really diligent and respectful group that will commit to them, which is something to be proud of."
Golden Square president Brendan Stewart said Haberman would leave a lasting legacy at the club.
"A measure of success is the difference and improvement that a person has made to an organisation whilst there - Bernie has certainly achieved that," Stewart said.
"The club has decided to make a long term decision and we are currently advertising for the position and working through a process to find the best possible applicant."
MEANWHILE, Pyramid Hill has reappointed Adrian McErvale and Nathan Fitzpatrick as senior co-coaches next year.
The pair were to team up together for the first time this year after McErvale did the job on his own last season.
The Bulldogs were runners-up in the Loddon Valley last season and would have been one of the firm favourites for the premiership this year had the season not been wiped out by COVID.
Zoe Kennedy will coach the A Grade netball in 2021.
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