Sam Gladstone is set to make his mark on Goorambat for the 2019 season as senior coach.
The newly appointed Bat takes over the reins from Shayne McKean in just his third year at the club, after coming across from the Goulburn Valley League.
After taking out the club’s senior best and fairest award this season, Gladstone is ready to lead by example.
While already carrying some coaching experience from steering the Benalla Bushrangers A-grade cricket side, Gladstone said he never expected to be coaching a senior football team this early on in his playing career.
‘‘I thought I would coach eventually but I didn’t think it would happen as soon as it has, but I’m happy to take on the challenge,’’ Gladstone said.
‘‘Our list is looking good, we have kept most of the players from this season and are working on recruiting some more players to be competitive next year.
‘‘Finals is always the goal, as well as improving the club on and off field and developing the young blokes.
‘‘It will be another challenge so I’m excited for it.’’
Gladstone said he hoped to continue his on-field form into next season, still set to run out for the Bats each week.
Goorambat club president David Hernan described Gladstone as a ‘‘born leader,’’ and said he would perform that role on and off the ground.
‘‘He is a great fella and very popular around the club,’’ Hernan said.
‘‘He is still fairly young but will definitely grow into the job.’’
While Goorambat often struggled with numbers this season, Hernan said putting the call out for more players was something always on the club’s agenda — with next season no exception.
‘‘It’s a struggle for Goorambat and will be in the future without having any junior teams,’’ Hernan said.
‘‘It’s a fantastic club and always has been.’’
Gladstone agreed that the atmosphere at the club was something he had admired since joining the Bats.
‘‘It’s a great family and small country club,’’ Gladstone said.
Brenton Doig is also set to lead Goorambat next season, taking on the role as the reserves’ coach again following this year’s stint.
With a new and youthful coach at their disposal in Gladstone, Goorambat will be looking to ascend through the ranks of the Ovens and King league in 2019.