NEW Kyneton coach Paul Chapman says he is excited by the vision mapped out by the Tigers in the Bendigo Football-Netball League and that's why he wants to be part of it.
The Tigers last Friday landed a massive coaching coup with the appointment of the three-time Geelong premiership player as their new coach, taking over from another former AFL player in Nathan Thompson.
Chapman lives just 15 minutes down the road from Kyneton in Woodend and likes what he heard from the Tigers during his discussions with the club - led by football manager Thompson - before taking on the role.
"The club was very transparent in speaking about the past five or six years and what the landscape is for their plans going forward," Chapman said this week.
"It all sounded really positive, the club is upbeat about the direction and it was hard to not buy into it with the way they sold the club and I really want to be a part of it.
"I'm really glad to have got it over the line and excited to be part of the Kyneton footy club."
Chapman, now 38, has a decorated football CV over 280 games with Geelong (251) and Essendon (29) between 2000 and 2015.
He played in Geelong premierships in 2007, 2009 and 2011, winning the Norm Smith Medal in the 2009 triumph over St Kilda.
Chapman is also a dual All-Australian in 2009 and 2010, won Geelong's best and fairest in 2006 and represented Victoria in 2008.
However, he also brings with him experience of having already coached at local level.
Chapman coached Werribee Districts in 2016 before leading Essendon District league premier division side Greenvale from 2017 until stepping down earlier this year, winning 40 of 58 games in charge of the Jets.
During his stint at Greenvale Chapman steered the Jets into the 2017 grand final, but they were beaten by Aberfeldie by 61 points.
"What I loved about Greenvale was they were all local guys and I imagine Kyneton would be much the same... young, local and looking to get better," Chapman said.
"I'm really looking forward to helping the young guys both individually and collectively.
"I really enjoy working with local kids, while you keep learning about yourself as a coach and a person and what works.
"No doubt I'm a better coach now than when I started.
"It doesn't matter what you've done in footy from a playing perspective, coaching is totally different.
"You've obviously got to understand how the game is played, but working with younger people and getting the balance on what may work for one player may not work for another is all part of coaching.
"From what I know the Bendigo league is a strong competition that seems to be broken up into two divisions with a very strong top five and the bottom five has a bit of work to do.
"At the moment we're in the bottom five, so I'm looking forward to getting in and getting my hands dirty and, hopefully, so are the boys."
The appointment of Chapman at Kyneton comes on the back of the Tigers having significantly eroded a $200,000 debt of just over two years ago - a situation Chapman was well aware of when he moved to Woodend.
"As soon as I moved to Woodend that's the first thing I heard about when I was finding out about the leagues and teams in the area," Chapman said.
"Everything that came up about Kyneton was the financial position, but the club has been very transparent and if anything resonates with me, it's honesty, owning where you've been and having a plan in place.
"Whether that plan shows out on the field straight away, who knows, but as a footy club, the direction they are taking is definitely onwards and upwards and a positive position."
Chapman has been appointed as a non-playing coach of the Tigers, who as well as his 280 games of AFL also still have 179-game AFL player Thompson heavily involved with the club as football manager.
"I'm too old to play now... the body just couldn't put up with playing another season of footy," Chapman said.
"I'd love to get out again, have a kick, be competitive and crash into some bodies, but I'd hate to do a serious injury now having got through 16 years of AFL footy and not having any major injuries.
"To do one now would be very disappointing, so I'll just stick to coaching."
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