NEWLY appointed Melton coach Brad Murphy has already marked improved fitness as a top priority.
The Bloods won a solitary senior game in the Ballarat Football League last season, but were in strong contention almost every time by the final break.
Murphy has already helped secure Geelong-based Gift runner Peter Walsh as the Bloods’ fitness coach.
A hard-running program is already in place for the summer.
Murphy, a former Western Bulldogs midfielder, said the Bloods’ list had plenty of promise.
“Melton has good mids but most are young and not as experienced,” Murphy said.
“It’s a great young list that probably just needs a bit more guidance that I hope to offer on the field.”
Murphy, who is almost 29 years old, has coached nearby club Hoppers Crossing to the past three under-18 flags in the Western Region Football League.
He also captained the Hoppers senior team but has always wanted to coach a senior team.
Melton president Stephen Bartlett said Murphy’s experience and proven record with young players was just what the Bloods needed.
The Bloods have signed Murphy for two seasons with the options of a third.
Murphy is familiar with BFL footy.
He grew up in Sunbury but played his junior football with Rupertswood.
His grandparents lived in Melton and Murphy would often watch games about the town with them when visiting.
He also has a lot of friends about the league.
Murphy spent four years with the Bulldogs (2003-2006), playing seven AFL games and about 80 in the Victorian Football League with the Bulldogs’ then-affiliate Werribee.
“The (BFL) grounds are bigger than what we’re used to in the Western Region league probably,” Murphy said.
“It’ll definitely be a challenge, a very big challenge.
“There was one game we won last year but I see a lot of positives.”
Murphy replaces Bob Heaney, a Bloods-bred coach, who stepped down after two years as senior coach.
The Bloods and Murphy are still finalising assistant coaches.