Northcote Park has appointed Stephen Saddington as senior men’s football coach for the 2021 season.
Saddington replaces Barry Mitchell in the top job after the former AFL midfielder and Cougars premiership star opted to not continue in the role following the cancelled 2020 season.
A former club captain, dual premiership player and best and fairest winner, Saddington returns to Bill Lawry Oval after a successful coaching stint at North Heidelberg.
Saddington joined the Bulldogs as a playing-assistant in 2012 before taking the coaching reins in 2014.
He guided the club to the Division 2 premiership in his first year at the helm, before also taking out the 2017 Division 2 premiership in one of the most dominant campaigns in league history.
Saddington has spent the past two years at Pascoe Vale, where he has been a member of the EDFL Premier Division club’s coaching panel under former AFL forward Digby Morrell.
In a statement released by Northcote Park, Saddington said he was thrilled to return to his home club.
“I’ve spent half my life at this great club and only went away to further my football IQ,” Saddington said.
“After being involved in the club’s greatest period, I would love nothing more to return as a senior coach.”
Northcote Park finished the 2019 season in seventh place on the Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 ladder, with a 7-11 record.