Four-time premiership player, premiership captain, club Hall of Fame member and now Christian Carter is the new senior coach of his beloved Golden Square Football Netball Club.
Carter was announced as coach on Thursday, replacing Bernie Haberman as the man in charge at Wade Street.
In a stellar career, Carter played 227 senior games for the Bulldogs.
He played in the 2001 grand final win over Sandhurst, captained the club's 2009 premiership side and played in the 2011 and 2012 grand final victories.
Carter coached the Bulldogs reserves to the 2015 premiership and, most recently, was an assistant coach to Haberman.
"This is something I've always strived to once my playing days were over,'' Carter said.
"I've worked my way through assistant roles to get the knowledge and experience I needed.
"It's great to get the senior coaching job."
Carter said his apprenticeship with the Bulldogs had him primed to take the next step in his coaching career.
"The four or five years as an assistant coach with the seniors was great, but I do feel a little bit comfortable going into the senior position knowing that I've coached my own team as well,'' Carter said.
"A lot of the players when I was coach of the reserves are now senior players, so I've got a good rapport with those guys.
"The last couple of years with Bernie I was midfield coach.
"I enjoyed it, but to be fair the amount of talent we had running through the midfield made my job a fair bit easier."
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Carter was chased by multiple clubs in recent years for vacant senior coaching jobs.
While it was tempting to take on a senior role elsewhere, Carter said the decision to remain an assistant with the Dogs was the right one.
"Early days I was happy to stay in the Golden Square environment, but once I got a taste of coaching I talked to a few clubs,'' Carter said.
"It just happened this year that the Golden Square senior job came up and it was too good an opportunity to pass up."
Carter made his senior debut as a 16-year-old under the mentorship of Golden Square champion Dean Strauch.
Carter went on to play under Brian Walsh, Darren Walsh, Jeff Brennan, Mark Adamson, his older brother Nick Carter, Mark Lloyd and Rick Ladson.
Looking back on his career now, Carter said the experience of playing under so many different coaches, in terms of style and personality, had helped mould his own coaching techniques.
"There was a wide range of characters amongst them,'' Carter said.
"There were some great coaches. I still take away a lot from what I learnt from Addo (Mark Adamson), Nick and even, Brian.
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"Brian had his quirky ways, but the way he got through to the players was fantastic.
"As an assistant working under Bernie (Haberman), he was on another level with his structures. I'll take something from all of the coaches I've been involved with."
Footy has changed dramatically since Carter started his senior footy career.
Full ground zones and defensive structures were not on the coaches white board back in the late 1990s.
"I'm an attacking type of coach, but all teams are different in the way they set up and they do their homework, so you have to be adaptable,'' Carter said.
While the loss of 2019 Michelsen Medal winner Adam Baird is a blow to Square's midfield stocks, Carter expects the Dogs to be around the mark at the pointy end of the 2021 season.
"Coming into this year we thought we had a team that could really press for the flag,'' Carter said.
"I've spoken to a lot of the players and they're ready to get back into it already.
"Skinny (Baird) is a loss, but there's so much good young talent coming through the club...I think it's a really exciting time for the club."
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