The Bull Sharks have bolstered their coaching ranks and added some on-field class with the recruitment of QAFL star Kain Ford.
The Surfers Paradise QAFL premiership player and former Queensland representative will serve as a playing senior assistant coach to Luke Mansbridge in the QFA seniors side.
Ford is a legend of Surfers Paradise AFC, having won their best and fairest in 2019, the year the Demons broke a 21-year premiership drought with victory over Palm Beach-Currumbin to claim their first flag at the state league level.
He was also named in the QAFL team of the year that season and played in the Queensland side coached by Bond Director of AFL Andy Lovell.
“I loved my time representing Queensland and Andy was a big reason for that,” he said.
“He is great at connecting with people and commanding respect from all types of playing groups, two things which I would love to emulate in my coaching.”
The 30-year-old midfielder said Lovell’s arrival at Bond University had captured the attention of the entire Gold Coast footy community.
The move to The Canal was due to his determination to pursue a coaching career but he also believes he can find further improvement as a player at the Bull Sharks.
“I wanted to come to Bond for a number of reasons but the one that stands out would be the opportunity to develop as a player, first time coach and person under the likes of Andy, Max (Kennedy) and Shaun (Hart),” he said.
“All three guys are well known in Queensland footy, and they come with a wealth of knowledge and experience that I’m excited to tap into.
“I really wanted to start my coaching career whilst still playing and young enough to make an impact both on-field and off.
“Being lucky enough to play in a premiership for Surfers Paradise and playing in several QAFL finals campaigns allows me to bring that experience and composure to a young group, especially in key moments throughout a game or season.
“I’m motivated to join a group still hungry for that success and do what I can to make it four flags from all four grades next season.”
Lovell said Ford had the attributes to become a successful coach and he was thrilled he had decided to embark on that journey with the Bull Sharks.
“He’s going to be a terrific player at QFA level,” he said.
“But what we’re most excited about is the opportunity to give our players some on-field coaching.
“Kain is very determined to become a good coach and we’re thrilled to be able to provide him the opportunity to develop those skills.
“From the start we’ve said we want to be a club that helps players and coaches improve and throughout the year we started to realise the benefits of a playing-coach if we could find the right person.”