THERE is no denying AFL Victoria Wimmera region manager Geoff Burdett's passion for football.
But after more than 14 years with AFL Victoria, nurturing and developing some of the Wimmera's brightest young talents, Burdett has called time.
"I've been 'umming' and 'ahhing' over it for the past few months and I felt like it was the right time," he said.
Since taking up the role in 1998, Burdett has seen a number of Wimmera footballers progress through the ranks including former Melbourne and Glenelg player Adam Fisher, Minyip-Murtoa, former Port Adelaide Magpies captain and North Melbourne player Jeremy Clayton, Warracknabeal, West Coast Eagles on-baller Matt Rosa, Warracknabeal, Hawthorn premiership player Clinton Young, Minyip, and rising Melbourne Demons star Tom McDonald, Edenhope-Apsley.
Burdett said he was leaving the job on a high, with four Wimmera players getting drafted at the end of last year - Dimboola's Brett Goodes, Horsham's Jake Lloyd, Edenhope-Apsley's Michael Close and Kalkee's Tanner Smith.
"It has been good and that's the beauty of it - you get to see kids go all the way through from Auskick," he said.
Burdett highlighted Lloyd's rookie-list drafting to Sydney as one of his biggest success stories.
"I pumped him up to every club I spoke to, particularly Essendon," he said.
"He would put 98 per cent of players to shame in his commitment on and off the ground.
"I reckon he will be a winner for Sydney, he will just get better and better." Originally from Hopetoun, Burdett played 37 games for Essendon between 1976 and 1981.
Burdett, who informed the North Ballarat Rebels' development squads of his decision during training on Monday, will leave the position on February 28, with his replacement yet to be confirmed.
He and his wife Mary-Anne will go caravanning around Western Australia for about five months, after which they will pursue business interests in Horsham.