There are mixed emotions for Rob McCartney.
He is moving to be with his family in Melbourne, which includes taking up a plum job at AFL powerhouse Hawthorn as head of football — special projects.
But at the same time he is having to give up becoming the coach of Shepparton as the Bears reawaken as a force in the Goulburn Valley League.
McCartney has been living in Shepparton this year and working as principal at Guthrie St Primary School while his family stayed down south.
‘‘I’d love to have been at Shepp next year, but family has to come first and I’m really lucky to be provided the opportunity to work at Hawthorn again,’’ McCartney said.
‘‘For me it’s disappointing to not be coaching Shepparton, as well as being at my school at Guthrie St, but sometimes you’ve got to make decisions in the best interests of your family.
‘‘I’d love to be able to do both; be with my family and coach the Bears, but at this point, that’s not possible.’’
McCartney has been serving as the Bears’ coaching director this year, with the intention of taking over from Brad Campbell next season.
His duties have been training and preparation during the week.
‘‘I’m up here (in Shepparton) during the week for work and then back to Melbourne on Fridays,’’ McCartney said.
‘‘My family were looking at relocating back here, but things haven’t quite worked out that way.
‘‘My eldest son was in Year 12 and my two younger kids are in Year 10 and Year 8, so they need to continue where they’re at with school.’’
McCartney will stay with the Bears until the end of the season as they push for a breakthrough grand final appearance.
‘‘Brad’s (Campbell) done an amazing job, taking over four years ago when the club was struggling to win a game and now being at a point to do something special,’’ McCartney said.
‘‘We’ll get even better next year and in coming years and I’m excited about the opportunity ahead of us.
‘‘I don’t get to the games, but I review the games on tapes and present things at training during the week and there’s been great growth in our team.’’