WIMMERA Football League club Dimboola has made an early signing by locking in Justin Beugelaar as its senior coach for the 2019 season.
Beugelaar, 28 and from the Northern Territory, has played with the club this season as a fly-in player but will relocate to the region for next season.
Beugelaar said he was excited to start building the list.
“I’m very excited and I’m new to the coaching game but hopefully the respect I’m building this year as a player will put me in a good position next year,” he said.
“I’d love to get some guys back on board such as Ben Miller who is working in Adelaide now.
“There are some guys we want to keep there with some talent and we just want to build on that.
“It’s going to be a challenge but the exciting thing is it’s a young group and one that wants to learn and get better.”
Beugelaar made a name for himself playing for the Northern Territory Thunder. He was recently named in the club’s team of the decade alongside former AFL players Andrew McLeod and Richard Tambling.
“I think this is the next step for me, to take the reins of a club and give back what I’ve learnt over the years playing with some quality guys,” Beugelaar said.
“Being around a team like the NT Thunder and being a vice-captain there I’ve had those leadership aspirations.
“One of the main motives of getting this signing out quickly is to try and recruit that top-end talent that will also bring that middle-end talent. ”
Beugelaar will take over from current coach Al McKinnon.
Dimboola president Col Campbell said McKinnon had done a great job with the team the past two seasons.
“Al has done a fantastic job the past two seasons and especially this year we have had 44 players go through the senior team and it’s been tough on him,” he said.
Campbell said McKinnon has been a great mentor for the young players coming through the club.
“He has been super organised the way he has gone about things and really helped the young guys develop,” he said.
Campbell said Beugelaar brought a lot of potential and professionalism to the job.
“He brings a lot of quality leadership and playing at a really high standard of football appealed to us,” he said.
“Recruiting has been hard for us recently but hopefully he will bring some players with him as a big name coach.
“We aren’t sitting on our hands thinking things are going to happen and we have some assistant coaches we are talking to as well.
“Justin has been huge for us this season as a fly-in player. The way he talks to the younger guys and on and off the field he has been fantastic.
“We definitely hope next season we can recruit more players from the region and reduce the amount of fly-in players.”