Brendan McCartney had been thinking about coaching again.
The burning desire was there.
Unfortunately his stay at the helm of the Geelong Falcons in the NAB League under-18 competition this year had lasted just three rounds before COVID-19 impacted and he was replaced in a reorganisation for 2021.
So it was a matter of where an opportunity might be for the Geelong-based McCartney after two decades in the AFL system, including three years as Western Bulldogs head coach.
Then came the call from North Ballarat Football and Sports Club chief executive officer Scott Seward, asking whether McCartney might be interested in joining the Ballarat Football League club.
Once North Ballarat's holistic vision for football and netball across all levels was detailed to McCartney, he was convinced this was the job for him.
"There was real appeal."
North Ballarat announced his appointment as senior coach for the next three years on Tuesday.
McCartney cannot wait to get his teeth into the job and do all he can not only for the club, but for the Ballarat football and sporting community as a whole.
"I want to promote the game in Ballarat - a passionate football city and great sporting city."
McCartney has always felt an affinity with Ballarat.
While he grew up in Nyah near Swan Hill before making Geelong his home, his father Graeme was a student at St Patrick's Coillege in the 1940s.
McCartney underpins his football philosophy in the programs offered by his life leadership coaching business, PlayerCoach, which he runs with Susie Robinson - providing a variety of courses which ultimately develop life skills for on and off the field.
He said after a long period in the AFL he was looking forward to again experiencing the club aspect of grassroots football.
McCartney said he had missed this part of the game - communication across various levels.
In relation to this, he said could not wait to meet a new group of young people and play a role in their development as athletes and people.
He believes there will be new challenges coming out of a year with sport, with opportunities for change.
"You might have ups and downs, but you never lose your passion.
"Clubs will need to back themselves."
While there is still uncertainty about when what is regarded as a normal senior football pre-season might be able to begin with COVID-19 restrictions still in place, this is of no concern to McCartney.
"The game is best taught in small groups (if that is required).
"We can cope with that."
While not making any predictions about what he might be able to achieve with North Ballarat in the BFL senior competition, McCartney said there was one thing he could guarantee.
"We'll be a fit team."
He said there would be no shortage of running within his training regime.