Follow @BgoAddySportAFTER 39 wins from 40 games and two premierships, Nick Carter is stepping down as coach of Bendigo Football League club powerhouse Golden Square.Carter has spent the past two seasons as coach of the Bulldogs and departs at a time when Golden Square is arguably country Victoria’s best football team.“My decision was based on the fact that I needed some personal time with family and to just take a break from footy for a year,” Carter said yesterday.“So the plan is to do that, and it has probably come at a good time given the fact that we’ve had some really good success and there has been some strong foundations built at Golden Square.“There’s some really good people who can carry it forward as players, coaches and support staff.“It’s something that wasn’t an easy decision to make, but I think it’s the right time to step away, have some time off and watch a bit of footy... I don’t think I’ve watched an AFL game live for three or four years, so I’ll watch a bit and try to learn some new things.“Hopefully, when the right time comes I’ll step back into it.“I really enjoy coaching, and I think I got to the point where I learned a lot from the players, assistant coaches and people around the club.“Sometimes you can learn on the job, other times you just need to sit back and watch and maybe listen to some coaches, so that’s something I’ll do.”Next year will be Carter’s first year without football commitments since he was drafted to Fitzroy from the Bendigo Pioneers in 1995. “I don’t really know what life is like without football commitments from November through to September, so I’m looking forward to what that will be like,” the 33-year-old said.“I’ve been involved with footy at a whole lot of different levels, and just to take a break from the game is something I’m looking forward to.”In his 40 games as coach in 2010-11 after taking over from Mark Adamson, Carter’s sole loss was a 17-point defeat to South Bendigo in round 11, 2010.Carter’s Bulldogs this year became the first team since Rochester in 1962 to go through a BFL season without losing a game, with the side’s crowning glory coming on grand final day when Golden Square defeated Eaglehawk by a record 135 points.“I’ve been at the club four years (2008-09 as a player) and the development of people has been enormous,” Carter said.“I look back to four years ago and there was probably some people at the club who could have gone either way, but through the right leadership, support and coaching, they have become really successful people and together. We’ve become a really strong team.”As well as the Bulldogs’ 2010-11 premierships under Carter, Golden Square won the flag in 2009 under Adamson.While he won’t be at the helm next year, Carter is confident there is further improvement in the Bulldogs in 2012 as they strive to become the first BFL team since Northern United (1984-87) to win four flags in a row.“Looking at each player individually, there’s enormous upside and opportunity to improve with the group that is there,” Carter said.“Last year I made the statement that we could improve 20 per cent, and I reckon we did, and I reckon there’s another 20 per cent improvement there. That’s not being arrogant, it’s in terms of the individual development as players, but also the team dynamic.“We might lose a couple, we might pick up a couple, but the club is in a really privileged position because there has been a hell of a lot of work done by a lot of people.“We just need to continue moving forward.”As for a replacement for Carter, the obvious internal candidates are star midfielders Simon Rosa and Mark Lloyd, who have both been assistant coaches.“Lloydy and Rosa would be capable of stepping into the role. They have respect from the guys, but it’s a different role when you’re sitting in the front seat,” Carter said.“I’m sure both would thrive on the opportunity, but there’s probably two or three other guys who if they wanted to could potentially put their hand up as well. “I’d like to think there’s potentially six or seven guys who could coach a senior footy team in a couple of years.”Meanwhile, with Bendigo to field a stand-alone VFL team in 2013, Carter says putting his hand up for that coaching position is not on his agenda.Carter is a VFL great in Bendigo, having played a club record 126 games with the Bendigo Diggers-Bombers, with the newly named Bendigo Football Club’s best and fairest medal named after him.“I totally support the movement of the Bendigo Football Club, but at the moment I need to take a break from footy. “There’s a lot I’d need to learn before I even looked at coaching a VFL side,” Carter said.