Shepparton Swans have joined the list of Goulburn Valley League clubs on the look out for a new senior coach.
Paul Griffiths, who arrived at the club this year, is heading back to Melbourne to due to work commitments.
The Swans, who had a number of key players leave in the off-season, struggled for numbers in the seniors and reserves, but the outgoing coach was proud of his efforts at Princess Park.
‘‘It is unfortunate circumstances, I have been given the ultimatum for work and have to move back to Melbourne,’’ Griffiths said.
‘‘I have thoroughly enjoyed my time there, I had a very nice send off at the presentation night and it is a little disappointing that I can’t try and finish what we started to build.’’
Griffiths regularly travelled to and from Melbourne for his advertising job this year, with the Swans only winning twice.
‘‘It was a difficult year in terms of talent, I really feel like we have laid the foundation, albeit with a thin list,’’ Griffiths said.
‘‘We might now see the fruits of the labour next year, but definitely by getting games onto the younger kids we will see them blossom in the next few years.’’
The Swans will be the fourth GVL club with a new senior coach next year.
Former Carlton gun Andrew Walker will guide Echuca, while Shepparton and Seymour are yet to announce their new leaders.
Griffiths, who spent time working as an assistant to the well-renowned Gary Ayres at VFL club Port Melbourne, believed the Swans should head hunt a development type coach and president Richard Bell reaffirmed that call.
‘‘We have known for a little while this might happen and we feel that a development coach is necessary,’’ Bell said.
‘‘We have been on the look out and hopefully we have an answer on a new coach, which looks to be from Melbourne, by the end of this week.’’
Bell thanked Griffiths and congratulated him for the work he did at the Swans.
‘‘He wasn’t here for long, but he did make a difference,’’ Bell said.
‘‘We all know work is the main priority and unfortunately he has to leave us, but that is football and we are thankful for everything that he has done here at Princess Park.’’
Meanwhile, Swans midfielder BJ Squire won his third consecutive senior best-and-fairest award on Friday night.