Danny Gnjidic is returning for a second stint as Ballarat Red Devils head coach.
He has signed a two-year deal to lead Ballarat in the second tier of the National Premier Leagues Victoria.
Gnjidic led the Reds for three seasons from 2007 – taking them to the Football Federation Victoria state league three north-west title and promotion in his first year at the club's former home Trekardo Park.
He returns in much different circumstances, with Ballarat now playing in the NPLV and based at the world-class Morshead Park facility.
He also takes on the job as the club prepares to enter 2017 as a new entity, which includes being renamed.
Gnjidic takes the reins after the departure of James Robinson, who has moved to A-League club Brisbane Roar as youth team coach.
Gnjidic joins Ballarat after four years as senior coach of fellow NPLV club Moreland Zebras.
Reds senior men’s football director Andrew Burgess said the club board of management was confident that the wealth of NPL experience that Gnjidic had would have a positive impact on the playing group.
"Danny knows the league, he knows our players and has a great football mind.
"He can hit the ground running and capitalise on the solid base that the club has established over the past year.
"We know we’ve got a talented squad and we believe if anyone can get the best out of them on field this year it will be Danny,” he said.
Burgess said the appointment was another critical step forward for the club and its vision to take the club back into the NPLV's top division, where Ballarat played in the first year of the competition in 2014.
Gnjidic said he was looking forward to returning to Ballarat.
“From my discussions with the club and what I've observed from afar over the past two years, I believe everything is in place on and off the field for the club to really stamp its presence on the NPLV,” he said.
“The senior team is made up of exciting local talent that has shown it's more than capable of competing at this level and achieving success. I'm looking forward to getting started and preparing for an exciting season ahead."
Gnjidic has 10 years of coaching experience which follow more than a decade playing in the former National Soccer League and Victorian Premier League.
Last year he led Moreland Zebras to a NPLV promotion play-off, narrowly going down to Melbourne Victory.
Ballarat finished sixth in the NPLV2 West division this year.