Hepburn coach imminent

Hepburn is expected to announce the successor to senior coach Jason Olver next week.

Burras president Jason Dooley told Fairfax Media that the interview process had begun and that the selection panel had narrowed down the candidates to three.

Olver led Hepburn to the Central Highlands Football League premiership last month in what was his second year in the role.

The Burras finished the season with 16 straight victories, capped by an 18-point grand final triumph over Beaufort at Ballarat’s Mars Stadium.

Olver announced early in the 2017 campaign that it would be his last in the job.

Jason Olver and Jason Dooley.

Jason Olver and Jason Dooley.

In a long and successful career at Hepburn, Olver was president during the senior premiership years of 2010 and 2013, coached a reserves flag in 2006 and an under-18 grand final triumph in 2014.

He was former senior coach Shane Robertson’s right hand man during the premiership campaigns of 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2010.

The Burras’ spa country rival Daylesford is also looking to replace its senior coach after Marcus Goonan vacated the position at the end of the season.

Goonan coached the Bulldogs for two years, reaching semi-final appearances in both 2016 and 2017.

Daylesford president Guy McLeod said that the club had started looking for candidates, but would now make some formal approaches following the completion of the Ballarat Football Netball League season.

Springbank and Gordon are the other top eight teams from 2017 looking for coaches.

The Tigers are chasing a replacement for Michael Searl, while the Eagles are out to fill the role vacated by Gary Learmonth.

Meanwhile, AFL Goldfields has received all club feedback regarding the proposed restructure as it works towards making its final recommendation on October 30.

AFL Goldfields general manager Rod Ward said there was no doubting the board had received a wide range of opinions. It was now its job to decipher the feedback and come to a decision that would best deliver a sustainable future to country football clubs.

Ward said while the feedback varied significantly, the universal view was that change was a must.

“There is obviously differing opinions on what’s best. It’s fair to say not every club in the region has identified one option as the best option moving forward.

“(But) there’s one thing that is universally accepted, change needs to be made. If change isn’t made then some clubs may not have a sustainable future. Given that this review is all about club sustainability, the one thing we’re in total agreeance on is there must be a restructure.”

The initial draft saw the Central Highlands Football League shaken up, with eight clubs proposed to move into a Goldfields District league, creating a third league around the region. 

The board will meet again on October 19 to discuss its recommendations.

Ward also said following the North Ballarat Roosters’ VFL licence not being renewed for the 2018 season, a limit as to how many VFL players could go to one local club would be looked into. He said it had been referred to the community club sustainability program advisory committee to consider the implications.