BIRCHIP-Watchem's last premiership coach, Trevor Ryan, is returning to the helm of the Bulls in the North Central league.
One of the eight senior premierships Ryan has coached in his career was the Bulls' last senior flag in 2001 when they defeated Wedderburn by 47 points.
Ryan's return to the Bulls as coach comes as the club next year marks 20 years since its 2001 triumph.
"It has been such a long time since I coached at club level; I'm really looking forward to jumping back into it," Ryan said on Wednesday.
As well as coaching Birchip-Watchem's 2001 premiership, Ryan also played in the Bulls' 1986 premiership at the age of 21.
The eight senior premierships Ryan has coached are spread across five clubs - Brim (1987), Balranald (1989, 1990), Woorinen (1993), Tyntynder (1997, 1998, 1999) and Birchip-Watchem (2001).
He has also been beaten in three grand finals as a coach, one of which was in 2002 when the Bulls' shot at back-to-back flags was thwarted by Donald.
His last coaching role was with South Mildura in 2012.
"I'm sure a hell of a lot has changed since 2012... it changes year to year, but I think the way we train, develop and profile players will have changed a great deal since I last coached," Ryan said.
I've always felt developing relationships with your playing list and club base is really important
"As a coach I've always worked hard at the art of coaching and I've always felt developing relationships with your playing list and club base is really important in getting the trust and belief from everyone so they want to follow in the direction you want to take them."
Ryan is the second senior coach the Bulls have appointed since Lochlan Sirett stepped down from the role he took on in 2018.
The Bulls had initially appointed Marcus Demaria as their 2021 coach in August.
However, DeMaria's appointment was short-lived before he resigned soon after and has since returned to his previous club, Woorinen, as coach.
Ryan is taking over at Birchip-Watchem on the back of the Bulls having lost the past three NCFL grand finals:
2019 - lost to Sea Lake Nandaly by 19 points;
2018 - lost to Wycheproof-Narraport by 34 points;
2017 - lost to Wycheproof-Narraport by 12 points.
The Bulls have won the most games of any club through those three seasons with 41, but have no silverware to show for it.
"I suppose it's a bit bizarre when you see a team that has made three grand finals in a row, but hasn't been able to win any of them," Ryan said.
"To me that shows they are obviously competitive enough to get there, but whether it's their structures that need tweaking or a completely new gameplan that might need to be developed, we'll have to look at that.
"I want to do a lot of work with the junior development side of the club to give our players coming through the juniors the best chance of being long-term senior players rather than needing to chase recruits from all over Victoria to fill holes."
Birchip-Watchem president Paul Lowry said the Bulls were excited at the return of Ryan to the club as senior coach.
"Trevor's football, coaching and development CV is unparalleled," Lowry said.
"I'm confident he has the capabilities to not only bring the immediate success we crave, but also to put the structures in place for us to thrive for years to come."
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