Shepparton has confirmed its coaches for the coming Goulburn Valley League season, with Ramadan Yze and Sam Ahmet appointed as co-coaches.
The Bears’ committee opted for the vast experience of the duo, with each bringing a stack of playing and coaching experience to nurture the club's emerging youngsters to the next level.
They take the reins from caretaker coach Troy King, who led the Bears for the back half of this season after the mid-year departure of premiership coach Sean Harrap.
Marcus Boyd, Travis Hampshire and Jason Sherlock will also be part of the club's football department.
A 2000 Shepparton premiership player, Ahmet is a former senior assistant coach at VFL club Bendigo Bombers and coached the Murray Bushrangers in their first season in the NAB League girls’ competition last year.
He has previously coached Rumbalara, Katandra and Shepparton East, and played in three premierships with Shepparton East in 1994, 1995 and 2006.
Yze himself brings nearly 200 GVL games experience, premierships at Merrigum and Ardmona and four years coaching Katandra to the role, he summed up the appointment simply: "Sam is coming home to where he belongs".
“It's a really exciting opportunity, especially sharing the role with Sam, with all his knowledge and experience,” Yze said.
“I'll learn a lot from him and I can't wait to get into the role.
“(Sam's) like a big brother to me, I've known him since we were kids, we've played cricket together and footy against each other. He's got great coaching experience, especially with the Bushranger girls, been involved with AFLW, he's got a wealth of knowledge.”
Yze said he had learned plenty coaching the Kats, but expected a challenge leading a GVL side.
“(Coaching) is a big role, but one I've really enjoyed doing,” he said.
“I like working with the playing group and the young kids, I've coached Katandra the last four years with the last two in the Murray league. That's been really good, especially the quality and the standard, and it's another step up to GVL football.”
The Bears made this season's preliminary final where they were beaten by Echuca, but, should they retain a majority of key players, seem poised to remain in contention after the emergence of a string of young talents.
In welcoming Yze and Ahmet to the role, Shepparton president Will Phillips said it had been a lengthy process.
“Our decision has taken quite a bit of time, but we wanted to honour the process around our selection criteria to ensure the club enjoyed a positive outcome,” he said.
“Knowing Sam and Rum and considering our recent discussions around their plans and their passion, I’m confident they can sustain the club’s success on the footy field for many years to come.
“With our football coaches sorted in all grades, we now look forward to being active in the recruiting stakes to bolster our list as we move in to the 2020 GVL season.”