Daylesford’s drought-breaking premiership coach Phil Davis will return to the Central Highlands Football League club to help assist Zac Tisdale take control of the helm.
Tisdale has just been appointed to a two-year stint as the Bulldogs’ senior coach, with Davis confirmed as the club’s coaching mentor for 2018.
Davis led Daylesford to a memorable grand final win over Waubra in 2007 to claim its first senior flag since 1961.
Tisdale will enter the position as an untried coach, but felt it was always something he would eventually pursue.
The 26-year-old revealed he had been inspired to chase the job – vacated by Marcus Goonan at the end of the season – after watching Buninyong coach Jarrod Morgan in action during this year’s semi-final defeat at the hands of the Bombers.
“… just the way he inspired his team from the middle. From the first bounce of that last quarter, he was on,” he said.
“Watching him do that made the gears click in my mind a bit … I would like to do that for my footy club.”
From there, Tisdale sought some support from teammates before applying for the position.
Tisdale played most of his junior football at Daylesford, winning an under-15 and under-18 premiership along the way. He also played in a senior flag with West Brunswick in 2014 during a stint in the Victorian Amateur Football Association.
Tisdale said the death of former club president Bernie Jurcan had led to he and teammate Jack Nulty returning to Daylesford last season.
“Bernie was a good mate of ours and he was always in our ear to try and get us to come back here,” he said.
“It’s a real shame that it took something as sad as that for us to come back, but it sort of just solidified our decision to come back.”
Tisdale said it was a huge boost to have Davis back at the club and to be able to learn from an experienced coach. “I don’t think you could ask for a better introduction to coaching than to have someone like that there,” Tisdale said.
Daylesford president Guy McLeod described Tisdale as the perfect fit. “Zac is a fine young man who is respected at the club and is excited by this opportunity.”