Sunbury has cut ties with Ben Jordan after initially indicating a desire to retain him as senior coach for a third year in the Ballarat Football League.
Jordan’s departure leaves the door open for the Lions to appoint Sunbury-based Travis Hodgson, who announced on Tuesday night he would not be fulfilling his contract and leading the Cobras for a fourth season.
While Sunbury is yet to announce a coaching appointment, Jordan said he was aware of the Lions’ desire to have the 1997 Lions premiership player at the helm.
Jordan said he was disappointed with the way Sunbury had handled the process, describing what had been mixed communication as “unprofessional”.
He said he had been happy to be part of a transition process to get Hodgson back to the club, with the original plan being for him to coach for another year and then hand over.
Jordan said right up until late in the season he believed he had the support of the club to coach again next year.
He said unfortunately he was misled through a lack of clarity in the decision-making process.
Jordan said there had been a time earlier in the season when he was uncertain whether he would coach on, but once he believed he had an assurance he had set his mind on continuing on.
Sunbury missed the finals this year for the first time since it joined the BFL in 1997.
Jordan said it was never going to be a "quick fix" after losing a substantial number of players from its 2016 grand final side in the two years he was at the club.
He said it was all about getting the right people into the club and developing the player list it already had.
Jordan said he would have had no objection to going on for one more season knowing the club would then welcome in Hodgson - for whom he had lot of respect - in 2020 as part of that process.
Jordan, who lives just a few minutes from Sunbury’s home ground Clarke Oval, said he had been pleased to make a contribution at what he regarded as his home club by taking on the coaching job and had always planned continue in some capacity with the Lions when his coaching days were over.
He said with this experience having left a bitter taste he was unsure what direction his future involvement might now take.
Jordan said he was keeping his options open. “I’ll take stock.”