AFTER close to two years at the helm, Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs first grade rugby league coach Brenden Fernley has stepped down from his role, effective immediately.
A disappointed Fernley, whose side have opened the 2019 season with a 1-3 record thanks to a last-up loss to Gerringong, decided this week that it was best that he parts way with the Bill Andriske Oval based club.
"It has been an extremely difficult decision for me and I really wish the club all the best moving forward," Fernely said.
"I really thought I was a chance of changing things down here, sadly it was not to be the case.
"Right now my love for the sport has taken a bit of a hit, but I am still keen to try and develop the game in the Shoalhaven after a little break.
"I want to take this opportunity to thank all the supporters, sponsors and more importantly the players that have committed over the last couple of years."
Fernley's decision to leave the Group Seven club follows a long line of other well-known figures at Bulldogs to separate themselves from the Bulldogs in recent times.
Just two weeks ago, key forward signing Paul Thornton decided to leave the club due to contract issues - with first grade's head sports trainer Bobby Krogh also parting ways in the past fortnight.
President Mick Hampson, a month before the season, stepped down from his post and was replaced by Adam Woodward.
These two are joined by other known figures such as David Hatch, Steine Lofts, Mitch Simmington, Cheyanne Hatch and Ebony Murray who are not the club in 2019.
The club, which appeared in dire straits at the end of 2018 before junior products Todd and Trent Ryan and Jayde Tooth returned to the club, has appointed former half Tom Cook as the man to replace Fernley as head coach.