RELIEF, rather than elation, was the over-riding emotion for Brock-Burrum co-coach Jarrod Hillary after the Saints secured their third premiership in four seasons on Saturday.
The Saints went back-to-back with a 33-point win over Jindera at Walbundrie on Saturday, icing a dominant year which saw them lose just one match.
Both Brocklesby and Burrumbuttock had been starved of success before the clubs merged in 2006 but now that the Saints are on top, Hillary is determined to keep them there.
And with local names like Schilg, Koschitzke, Boulton and I’Anson, among others, forming the backbone of the Saints’ success, it’s hard to see them relinquishing their position any time soon.
“This club deserves everything because they were down for a long, long time so you’ve got to take your opportunities when they come,” Hillary said.
“We’re up on top and we’ll ride it as long as we can.
“Three premierships in four years is fantastic for our club.
“At the minute, it’s relief more than anything after being the top side all year. We just wanted to do the club justice.
“Coming into the grand final, you come in with confidence but also a fair bit of weight on the shoulders about needing the get the job done.
“We won the club championship this year, which is testament to how strong the club is at the minute and all the work they put into the juniors and the netball club as well.”
The Saints’ four-year period of dominance has coincided with Josh Walker’s reign at Jindera.
Walker, who defied a hamstring injury to take his place in the Bulldogs’ side on Saturday, will step away from playing and coaching next season.
The former Wodonga defender said he was proud of his time in charge of the Bulldogs and confident they were well placed for future success.
“I think when I stepped in we finished last and second last in the seniors and reserves, and four years later I go out with both sides playing in a grand final,” he said.
“I’ve had a great group around me and there’s a great culture at the football club.
“They fought hard today. Brock-Burrum have been the best side for the last four years really, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy.
“It’s probably just that first quarter where they got the jump on us, I thought for the last three quarters we were on a par with them and fought out the game really well.”
Walker, who successfully led the Hume league against Riverina this season, didn’t rule out a return to coaching in the future.
“Maybe further down the track I’ll look to coach again but it’s been 18 years of senior footy and the body is pretty worn out,” he said.
“I think I was always going to play today but it was always going to be tough, I had to do a fair bit to get up.
“I thought it was a good time to step away from footy and coaching altogether for 12 months and just freshen up.”