CRAIG Armstead will become the third AFL Central Victoria regional manager after being appointed as Carol Cathcart's successor.
Armstead brings an extensive sporting administrative background to the position that includes a three-year stint as the consumer business manager at the Geelong Football Club, clubs and membership development general manager at Greyhound Racing Victoria and chief executive officer of the Essendon District Football League.
Most recently Armstead was the general manager of the Wyndham Basketball Association.
"Professionally I was keen to get back into football, which is something I really enjoy," Armstead said on Saturday.
"Plus the fact there is a more significant netball component here as well really interested me.
"When I was at the EDFL I started the netball competition, which was really important and valuable.
"This region has a significant footprint and some high standard leagues that I'm interested in; there's obviously lots of challenges for me in terms of the breadth of the geography.
This region has a significant footprint and some high standard leagues that I'm interested inCraig Armstead
"And personally I've got a family connection here and my wife and I were keen to get back into regional Victoria. We've been coming up here for decades and really enjoy Bendigo and the surrounding area, so it ticks the boxes both professionally and personally."
Armstead is taking over a region that has grown this year and now stretches as far north as Hay, south as Gisborne, west as Donald and east as Colbinabbin and includes the Bendigo, Heathcote District, Loddon Valley, North Central, Central Murray, Golden Rivers, Central Victorian Women and Bendigo Junior leagues and Bendigo Umpires Association.
"I think I've got a really good background at both community and elite level sport and in a variety of sports," Armstead said.
"There's parts of both the community and elite level that you can apply to this position, but particularly I think my role at the EDFL will bring good skills.
There's parts of both the community and elite level that you can apply to this position, but particularly I think my role at the EDFL will bring good skills.Craig Armstead
"I'm very open, I listen and I'm quite considered when it comes to making decisions.
"That doesn't mean everyone will get what they want, but I think clubs will find what they are saying will be considered and taken on board.
"At the end of the day, it's the clubs that make the leagues for football and netball.
"People don't follow AFL Central Victoria, they support their club and part of our role is to help and support them; we've got to govern them as well, but that support is what I'd hope we do well as an organisation.
"All of us just want 2022 to be a full season of football and netball and for me, that would be the number one priority.
"We want to be able to help all the leagues, clubs and volunteers make a successful return next year and get as many players back on the footy field and netball court as we can."
AFLCV region competitions have endured back-to-back years of immense difficulty through the coronavirus pandemic.
Entire 2020 seasons were abandoned, while this year's seasons were started, but none were completed due to Victorian lockdown restrictions that halted community sport.
Armstead will start in his new role on December 6 and follows Cathcart and Paul Hamilton as the first two AFLCV region managers since the position was created in 2013.
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