Bombers ‘the bridesmaid’ for too long, says new coach
The man who has taken on the job of coaching a Northern Rivers Aussie rules team reckons a combination of current talent and new recruits makes the squad a genuine premiership contender.
This is no pie in the sky talk, as Ballina Bombers new senior men's coach Dave Edwards, possesses a serious AFL pedigree, including playing and coaching teams over 28 years.
Edwards, 46, said he's determined to make a positive difference with the team.
"Every year that I coach, I want to win the premiership," he said.
"If as a coach or player you don't want this, then you should give it up and find something else to do."
And having lived on the Gold Coast he's got an insight into the competition the Bombers will face for the 2021 QAFA South Competition.
Having been an assistant coach at Burleigh Bombers means Edwards's aware of strengths and weaknesses of the competition.
"I did my due diligence and was impressed with the players and club community," he said.
"Byron have been the dominant side and Ballina have been the bridesmaids; I believe we can change this."
Edwards said he was attracted to the role after doing his research into the team and local competition.
"I know the inside and out of the QAFA competition, particularly Burleigh who are the 2021 flag favourites," he said.
"I know what it will take including training and fitness, I know what we need to get to that level and I'm not scared of taking on a coaching role in a non-dominant Australian rules football area."
Edwards' footy career began in AFL heartland.
He played juniors in Narre Warren, seniors at Rowville and then to Frankston Dolphins in the VFL before he honed his playing and coaching skills across Victoria.
In 2009 he was senior playing coach for the Eastern Swans in Queensland's Mackay, winning the 2009 Premiership against Whitsunday, who were undefeated all season.
From 2011 to 2015 Edwards moved to the newly formed Mackay Magpies as a senior playing coach, as well as coaching the Rep side and the region's Gold Coast Suns Academy.
In 2016 he settled in the QAFL territory, coaching with Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and most recently the Burleigh Bombers.
"My approach to coaching is all about people management," he said.
"When I grew up the coach was like an army sergeant who shouted at you.
"Now it encompasses player relationships and communications so you can blend them into a successful team."