DAYLESFORD premiership coach Luke Beattie is back to help the Bulldogs’ tilt at back-to-back Central Highlands Football League flags.
Beattie returns to the forward line as one of five key recruits from struggling Bendigo league side Kyneton, which will not field a senior team in 2013.
Daylesford president John Goullet said Beattie’s return was a big boost for the club.
“The assistance (Luke) gives the coach (Andrew Button) will be invaluable. The players love having him back. He’s a good character,” Goullet said.
Beattie started as coach of the Bulldogs in 2009, where he took the senior team to a premiership and then a grand final in 2010, before stepping down from the role in 2011.
He played out the season, but missed the grand final defeat to Waubra through injury before transferring to his former home at Kyneton.
Beattie is back after one season away with close friend and Bulldogs’ premiership player Darren Chambers, who also returns.
The pair is joined by former Kyneton players Rory Healy, Patrick Rowe and Luke Said, who are expected to be senior players this campaign.
“I’d say our chances of going back-to-back are very good, barring injury. Our forward line will comprise Sebastian Walsh, Max Risstrom and now Luke Beattie. It’s pretty impressive,” Goullet said.
“You put in these onballers that we’ve got, and Cade O’Brien has done a big pre-season. We are very encouraged by the whole thing and I’m personally looking forward to the season like I’ve never looked forward to one before.”
Daylesford will be shooting for a staggering seventh-straight grand final appearance this season after triumphing over Buninyong in last year’s decider, but is yet to claim back-to-back titles in the Central Highlands competition.
The Bulldogs start their season with a trip to Ballan on Saturday, April 13.