MDFL - Ballarat's Joe Carmody will lead the SM&W Rovers in the coming season of the Mininera and District Football League after taking over the reins from Rhys Cahir.
The Bulldogs are still on their Christmas/New Year break after the new coach put the players through their paces during December.
SM&W Rovers president Jonathon Box said Carmody had brought with him renewed enthusiasm which was already resonating around the football club.
"The club is really happy to have Joe sign on as senior coach," he said.
"We have had some good numbers training before Christmas and that included some new faces who he has brought with him. It is exciting to have this feeling around the place so early in the pre-season and we can't wait to continue that as the new season gets closer.
"Rhys indicated that he was looking to step back from coaching duties and Joe popped up halfway through last season as a possible candidate."
Carmody who works and lives in Ballarat said he is looking forward to the challenge that will come with the Bulldogs' top job.
"I suppose I have been a playing assistant and coach at a few clubs in the last six to seven years and I also work with Tony Liston who is a major part of the Rovers," he said.
"Tony was in my ear about it for a lot of last year and I thought different league, new club, new challenges - why not?"
Carmody has spent time in various coaching roles at Springbank and Bungaree in recent years, while last season he was senior assistant at the Ballarat Swans in the Ballarat Football League.
SM&W Rovers won nine matches in 2013 and finished eighth. The team will be hoping the incoming coach can push it back up into finals contention.
"Our first priority was to retain all of last year's playing group and no one has said that they are leaving which is pleasing," Carmody said.
"Obviously at most footy clubs you will have one or two leave each year so that may come, but things are looking promising at the moment.
"They are very willing to learn, their work ethic is good and so I guess we just need to work on polishing a few areas.
"It is probably going to be a completely different game plan to last year, so there is always going to be a few ups and downs when you are learning that.
"Most teams think they are flying this time of year because you aren't playing anyone to measure yourself, but we aren't getting too carried away."
Carmody said on top of the 2013 group committing, the Bulldogs would also be boosted with at least six new players signing up.
"I guess our main signing so far would be Ben Nankervis from Springbank, who will be a centre half back-key position player.
"There are a couple of pretty close mates from Springbank all coming out together."
If the body allows him the 35-year-old said he hopes to play at least a dozen games with his new club.
Tony Liston will be Carmody's main assistant coach in 2014 and Andrew Chammings is the strength and conditioning coach, while there is also the possibility of another assistant coach signing on in the coming weeks.
The Bulldogs will resume their pre-season program on Wednesday, January 29 at Victoria Park in Ballarat.
"We will train at Vic Park for about a month and then once the season starts back up we will train once a week in Ballarat and once a week in Mininera," Carmody said.
"I guess that is fairly unique in that we have a lot of players based in both places, but we will make it work."
The football club is in the process of planning a practice match for mid-March.