BENDIGO Gold chairman Peter Lodewijks has stepped down.
Lodewijks has cited a new career opportunity as his reason for his departure from the VFL club, and will be replaced by local businessman Tim Dickson.
Lodewijks said the decision to resign from the Board had been a difficult one.
“Being appointed as chairman of the Club was never really on my radar, but when David Joss stepped down I agreed to undertake that role on the understanding that the board would actively seek to make another appointment to the position as soon as possible”, he said.
“I am very glad that Tim Dickson is stepping into the role because he will bring an enormous amount of energy and experience to this position which will be of great benefit to the club as a whole in the future.
“My time on the board of directors as general manager and then chairman and executive director has been challenging, but it’s also been immensely rewarding.
“I’ve worked with some fantastic people who are committed in every way to developing our Club into a very strong entity and in the process strengthening the VFL presence in Bendigo because that’s going to bring huge benefits to footy in this city and surrounding areas.
“I have enjoyed it tremendously and I’ve gained an enormous amount of experience.
“However, I have been given a chance to pursue a different career path that offers some very significant professional and personal opportunities which I cannot ignore.
“The Bendigo Football Club is a well managed, professional organisation and I’m extremely confident that Tim Dickson will lead it into a new era that will deliver some great results for football in Bendigo.
Dickson said he was "elated" to be taking over as chairman.“However, I’m very sorry Peter Lodewijks has stepped down because he’s given 120 per cent to the club and to VFL football in Bendigo during his time,” he said.
“Without his efforts over the past five years, it’s very doubtful whether Bendigo would even have a VFL team, let alone a Club that’s demonstrating success on the field and is determined to become a real force in the League.”
“Local footy clubs and supporters in general have got a great deal to thank him for.”
A successful businessman, Dickson has brought a wide range of skills and commercial expertise to the club's board.
“Since I joined the board I’ve been very impressed with the calibre and professionalism of the board and of the club’s overall operations,” he said.
“Obviously, the transition to a stand-alone organisation, especially as we are, basically, a young club, is throwing up a wide range of challenges and issues but these are being systematically and professionally addressed.
“Everyone connected with the club is working cohesively to ensure we continue to move forward in a progressive and positive manner and I’m determined to make a very positive contribution by helping to build a very viable, sustainable and successful VFL team that continues to provide genuine opportunities for young players in this region to achieve their goals in football.”