KERRY Bahr will coach Jindera next season.
After being an assistant-coach at Culcairn and Yarrawonga in recent years, the former Lavington premiership player will step into the role vacated by Josh Walker.
Bahr said he had no plans of coaching before being contacted by Bulldog officials last weekend.
“I was prepared to stay out of footy this year but the opportunity presented itself and it went from there,” Bahr said.
“Josh has done a good job and from all reports there are some really good kids at the club to work with.
“That was the biggest attraction as I’d love to take them to the next level.
“It’s what I will be focusing on.”
Bahr has extensive knowledge of the Hume league after spending time as a player or assistant-coach with Walbundrie, Walla, Osborne and Culcairn.
He coached Lavington’s thirds in 2013 and 2014 before working with Brendan Fevola and Drew Barnes at Yarrawonga.
Bahr, who played in the Panthers’ 2001 and 2005 premierships, said his top priority was player development at Jindera.
“We have lost a bit of cream with the Holmans (Nick and Kris) leaving and one or two retirements but a lot of kids are coming through,” he said.
“It’s probably much the same set up as the Ovens and Murray as the BB Saints are that trendsetter and, if you are going to beat anyone, you probably have to get past them to get into a grand final anyway.
“It’s a big ask but the footy club seems well run and professional.”
Bahr played 319 matches for Lavington and 38 for Wodonga Raiders and won four senior best and fairests with the Panthers.
He also played in flags with Walla, Culcairn and Osborne.
Jindera vice-president Simon Cossor said Bahr’s passion for coaching stood-out when they interviewed him.
“He’s a great fit for the club,” Cossor said.
“It’s fantastic news for us as his interest in the junior and senior footy and netball was obvious.
“You can’t fault his credentials in the Ovens and Murray and footballing background in general.”
Jindera, who went down to Brock-Burrum in the grand final, has lost brothers Nick and Kris Holman to Lavington while Kirk Wilson and Walker have retired.
Cossor said the work of Walker over the past four years had helped the Bulldogs secure a coach of Bahr’s calibre.
“I think it’s a credit to our footy and netball club and the culture we have developed,” he said.
“A lot is due to ‘Tex’ (Walker) and how he has gone about it.”
Walker took over at Jindera in 2013 and guided the Bulldogs to eighth, sixth, third and second spots on the ladder.