EJ CLEARY Medallist Dan Davies has been given the task of lifting Brown Hill to a Ballarat Cricket Association firsts premiership.
Davies has been appointed Bulls’ playing coach for the next two seasons, with an option for a third.
He joins Brown Hill after three seasons as Napoleons-Sebastopol coach.
Brown Hill president Phil Knowles said Davies was over the back issues which sidelined him at Naps-Sebas last season and was set to return to BCA ranks as a top order batting all-rounder.
Knowles said it was difficult to attract experienced players like Davies and it was pleasing to be able secure a fresh face of his calibre.
Captain Jason Knowles took on the coaching role last season with the help of former Australian fast bowler Shane Harwood.
Harwood returned to his former club and was instrumental in the Bulls reaching the grand final.
Phil Knowles said the Davies appointment would relieve the workload on Jason Knowles, allowing him to focus on his output as a key all-rounder.
Davies won the BCA best and fairest, the Cleary Medal, in his first season at Naps-Sebas in 2011-12.
He was recruited from Spotswood in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association.
He had previously had 12 seasons with Camberwell in Victoria Premier Cricket.
Davies did not make any appearances last season for Naps-Sebas, which he led to two grand final appearances.
As well as his leadership qualities and responsibilities as coach, Davies will cover the loss of leading batsman Matt Hyden.
Hyden has moved to the Mornington Peninsula with work commitments.
Phil Knowles said Harwood was yet to make a commitment for next season.
He said the veteran had not pulled up as well as he would have liked after the grand final campaign and it was too early to make a call as to whether his legs would stand up to the stress of another season.
Knowles said Harwood would be given all the time he needed before making a decision.
With the Davies’ move, Napoleons-Sebastopol is now on the lookout for a new coach.
Carman Mapatuna is a possible candidate, but Naps-Sebas president Barry Ringin said the club’s preference was to have Mapatuna utilising his vast experience in a development role rather than as head coach.