Former AFL ruckman Bryan joins Bonbeach

5 NOV 2014 | BY PAUL SMITH

Story from this weeks Mordialloc Chelsea Leader Newspaper -

CHRIS Bryan has joined Bonbeach, but Shane McDonald has left.

That’s a quick summary of the Sharks’ off-season so far.

Bonbeach coach Steve Hughes says new recruit Bryan will benefit the Sharks both on and off the field next season.

The former AFL ruckman and NFL gridiron player has signed with Bonbeach as a playing assistant coach.

“He adds a different layer to us in terms of a bit more maturity; a big strong forward for us,’’ Hughes said. “He’s a good get for us.’’ Bryan, 32, was playing coach at Keysborough for the past two seasons.

He suffered a knee injury this year and will be coming back from a knee reconstruction when he slots into the Bonbeach side early in the 2015 season.

Bryan played 16 games with Carlton and 46 at Collingwood.

He then went to the US to try out as a punter, playing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Hughes said Bryan’s twocode top level experience, plus his role as coach of a suburban club, makes him a valuable asset for Bonbeach.

“He has a pretty sound understanding about the mechanics of footy and how it all works. He’s going to add a bit us on field but also off field,’’ he said.

Bryan’s arrival at Bonbeach comes as the Sharks are coming to grips with the departure of their dynamic captain McDonald, who has signed with Mooroopna in the Goulburn Valley Football Netball League.

A four-time Bonbeach best and fairest winner, league medallist and Vic Country player, McDonald will leave a void at the Sharks.

“He’s been a great servant for the footy club,’’ Hughes said.

“It’s obviously a good opportunity for him financially and I think he’s looking for a fresh start as well. He was really good and honest with us throughout the whole process. He met with us three times and gave us updates on what he was thinking. He leaves with best wishes from the entire footy club.’’

Bonbeach also has lost key position players Shaun Foster and Matt Clifford – both to Hastings