NEWLY appointed Cudgewa coach Aaron Lezius says “unfinished business” would motivate the club next season.
The Blues have finished runner-up for the past two years and narrowly missed their first flag since 2000 in this year’s decider against Tumbarumba.
Lezius, 33, joined the Blues this season from Jindera.
He was a premiership captain of the Bulldogs in 2008 and also co-captain in last year’s flag triumph.
“I thought this might be my last year but I just love it up there and want to go back again,” Lezius said.
“They are great people and the community spirit is amazing and that’s what really made me want to take the job on.
“I’m very excited about it and looking forward to the challenge.
“The club feels that we have definitely got some unfinished business after finishing runner-up for the past two seasons.
“We look back at this season’s grand final as the one that got away.
“We are pretty hungry to make amends.”
Lezius replaces Bill Deery who has had two seasons at the helm.
“We were initially going to share the role,” he said.
“But Bill has got a bout of osteitis pubis he is trying to overcome and might have a delayed start to the season.
“There is no doubt we had the list to win it this year but injuries prevented us performing at our best.
“Our best players all missed games and it is hard play consistent football when some blokes only managed seven or eight games for the year.
“By the time finals started, we lacked match fitness because blokes were being rested in the lead-up to try to get themselves right.”
The Blues have suffered an early blow with Beechworth premiership defender Michael Voigt joining North Wangaratta.
Dangerous forward Dylan Ward and Ryland Head are also confirmed departures.
On the up side, Jamie Piltz and giant ruckman Jim Cleven have recommitted to the club.