Cootamundra captain-coach Glen Buttriss will not be returning to lead the club for a second season.
The former Canberra Raiders player made a huge impact when news of his appointment broke, and he attracted many players back to Les Boyd Oval for this season.
In 2016 the Bulldogs finished in ninth place and 11th last year. This year, they finished in fifth place, ruling them out of finals after the Group Nine competition lost Tumbarumba due to a lack of players.
The Bulldogs enjoyed significant success early in the season with wins to Gundagai, Albury, Young, Wagga Kangaroos and Junee.
Buttriss won’t be returning to help the club have another crack at the premiership, after making the “sad” decision to step down.
“I’ve spoken to the boys in the club, and I won’t be returning next year,” he said.
Buttriss has been travelling from Canberra for two coaching sessions each week, plus travel to games and other club events and fundraisers.
“I will be playing in the Canberra competition next year," he said.
“I’ve been doing a fair bit of travelling for three years, I travelled to Sydney to play for two years (in 2016 and 2017).”
Buttriss said it was a tough decision to make.
“I’ve enjoyed coming back to the club,” he said.
“The support we’ve had has been outstanding, from players to volunteers and committee members.”
Buttriss said the club's first grade side had plenty of talent, including junior players who had made their debut this year.
He praised co-coach Aaron Byrne for his help in running the team this year.
“If it wasn’t for (Aaron) this year, I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did,” he said.
Buttriss said there were a few times when he wasn’t able to make the journey from Canberra for training.
“But I knew that it was all in good hands with Aaron,” he said.
Buttriss said Byrne had coached juniors, seniors for six years, helped sell raffle tickets, merchandise and more besides.
“He’s an outstanding clubman. The things he’s done for the club are unbelievable.”
Cootamundra joins Gundagai and Kangaroos as Group Nine clubs looking for a new coach, while Temora are yet to confirm their plans.