By: Daniel Kelly (@UKurrie)

The Northern Bullants have appointed Brodie Holland as Senior Coach for the 2023 VFL season.

Holland arrives at Genis Steel Oval following senior coaching roles at Caroline Springs, in the Western Region Football League, and two premierships at Maribyrnong Park, in the Essendon District Football League.

The former 155 game Fremantle and Collingwood AFL player replaces Ben Hart who moved to an assistant coach role with the Greater Western Sydney Giants AFL side in October.

Holland is relishing the chance to lead a side at the VFL level.

“It’s incredibly exciting,” Holland said. “I am getting my head around the club and talking to a lot of people about what we need to improve both off field and on field.”

“I’m keen to make this place a powerhouse again in good time.”

The Bullants were careful to find the right match for the young and exciting list.

“Brodie interviewed extremely well as part of a thorough recruitment process,” Club President Whitlam Malkoun said. “His plan for the club – now and for the future – is very impressive.”

“Of particular importance is Brodie’s ability to communicate with the players. We have a very young playing group and Brodie’s philosophy of listening, understanding, and then teaching, will get the best out of the team.”

Holland sees his ability to connect with, and maximise the potential of, a youthful team as one of his strengths.

“I developed a strong young list at Caroline Springs,” Holland said. “We took a young team from second last to top of the ladder after the home and way season in four years.”

“My philosophies as a coach really align with what I heard from those who recruited me to the Bullants. I am big on accountability; being a good person on and off the field; building a strong culture; being a selfless footballer – everything this club stands for.”

After one win during the 2022 season, Holland knows the challenge ahead but both he and Malkoun are focussing on the process rather than outcomes.

“On the field we know that, whilst the wins did not come in 2022, we were in games for long periods,” Malkoun said. “Our priority is that our young team continues to develop in all areas in 2023 – when that happens the wins will follow.”

Holland’s previous success has been built through strong defence which rebounds swiftly into attack.

“We’re going to have an exciting brand of footy,” Holland said. “I’m very defensively minded, but I do want to make sure my sides play with a certain amount of attacking flair and play a good brand of footy to watch.”

Malkoun is driving an ambitious focus to further connect the Bullants with the northern suburbs community – not just as a sporting club but as an institution – and Holland will have an active role in that.

“Off the field, our focus is to represent our community,” Malkoun said.

“We are the Northern Bullants – we would like to represent the one million residents in the northern corridor of Melbourne, whilst never taking our iconic Preston history for granted. We want to be a centre of excellence for Preston and the northern suburbs.”

“We’ll be engaging more fans and creating partnerships with businesses and charities, and we’ll have exciting news to share soon.”

After two years of Covid-19 uncertainty after the alignment with Carlton ended, it’s clear the Bullants aim is not just to survive but to thrive on and off the field – Holland’s arrival brings fresh optimism for the future of the famous red and white.