Buninyong has appointed Shaun O’Loughlin as its senior coach two weeks after its Central Highlands Football League grand final loss to Beaufort.
O’Loughlin will replace Jarrod Morgan, who will step back into a pure playing role, and is excited by the prospects at the Bombers.
O’Loughlin played a lot of his juniors at Buninyong and most recently has been coaching the Ballarat Football Legaue interleague side, for the last three years, as well as plenty of junior development with the AFL Goldfields Academy and coaching the V/Line Cup team.
Prior to that, he was an assistant coach at AFL Women’s club Melbourne and has spent time with the Greater Western Victoria Rebels in the TAC Cup.
“I’m really excited to get back involved with the club,” O’Loughlin said.
“I live in the town, I work in the town. It’s a good arrangement for me and hopefully a good arrangement for the club too.
“There’s plenty of potential there, that’s what excites me about the list.”
O’Loughlin has already spent time at the club over the last couple of months and has got to know the playing group well. He said the club expected to retain much of the list and as always would look to bring quality players into the mix.
O’Loughlin will be joined in the coaches box by Lake Wendouree duo Ricky Andrews and Nick Stephen, making a strong team to support the club. O’Loughlin was quick to acknowledge the outstanding job former coach Jarrod Morgan had done, allowing him to take the reins of an already impressive unit.
“Jarrod’s put the club in a great position...his work ethic and commitment to the job has been outstanding.
“He’s invested a lot of time over the last five years and done a terrific job.”
Buninyong’s grand final loss was the latest shortcoming in a disappointing finals record, four losing grand finals since 2012.
O’Loughlin said while clearly the club was looking to go as far as possible, he would not be measuring its success purely on premierships.
“They’ve been thereabouts for a few years now, hopefully we can put some good people around them and help them go one better.
“One of the things that I think is really important is setting up a really professional environment.
“The culture of the club is terrific...just put some good people around them and raise the standards of professionalism right across the club.
“All clubs want to be successful, but for me, there’s more to creating a successful club than just winning premierships. If you’re only in the caper that success is winning premierships then most clubs have probably ended up with nothing.
“As successful as we’d like to be, there’s lots of other areas of the club we’d like to develop. We can have success in a lot of areas whether we win the premiership or not.”