Bulls land Scotland

Heath Scotland is no longer at Deer Park

Harper Sercombe

Bundoora has locked in its coach for the 2024 Northern Football League season.

The Bulls have secured the services of Heath Scotland, the former Carlton and Collingwood player, who most recently took Deer Park to its first Essendon District Football League premiership.

Scotland replaces Michael Ryan who was at the helm for four years at the Bulls, taking them to division 1 grand finals in the two most recent seasons without getting the job done.

“I’m very excited about joining such a great club, and strong club for many years,” Scotland said.

“There’s not going to be much I need to change really, hopefully just a few tweaks in what I can bring to the club will help the club get to the next phase.

“What the club stands for in terms of their values, really aligned with what I was looking for and I’m really excited to join a great organisation.”

One of Scotland’s key strengths is his development of players, which is something he wants to bring to Yulong Park.

“Development’s a critical part,” he said.

“With Bundoora it’s very much a family club, an enjoyable environment, we give so much of our time to be around football clubs, we want to win premierships but it’s all about enjoying your time there and involving everybody.

“I’m really big on that community involvement, making sure that the club’s vertically integrated from 19s all the way up and tapping into the junior programs.”

The loss of two of the club’s prime movers for the 2024 season has already been announced, with former Richmond and Western Bulldogs forward Sam Lloyd and former Fremantle big man Hamish Shepeard both moving to the Deniliquin Ram. However, this isn’t something that has worried Scotland.

“Every club loses a couple [of players] each year and we’re no different, but we will add some players, no doubt,over the next few months,” he said.

“The club’s been there and about so everything is sort of there so hopefully what I can bring can help the club take the next step.

“I’m confident in what I can bring, my knowledge and the method or game plan that I’ll bring to the club, I’ll back that in and we’ll implement that.

“The club’s well resourced, I feel like I’m walking into an organisation that’s got a lot of its ducks in a row.

“So to bring a little bit of the professionalism that I’ll bring and the game plan and method, understanding and obviously development that’ll be the difference to help the club take the next step.”

This will also be Scotland’s first taste of the NFL, as a player or coach, which is something that is exciting him.

“I’ve got a couple of months to get my head around the competition, the players, the clubs, the teams, to make sure I hit the ground running,” he said.

“I’m really excited to come into a strong organisation with a fresh set of eyes.

“There’s opportunities for everybody coming in with a new view, there’ll be no pigeon holed players or players expecting certain roles or positions, there’s a clean slate and opportunities for everybody.

“So hopefully that little bit of opportunity excites the whole club and we can hit the ground running early in the preseason.”