CREWING FOR THE VOYAGE
In the next two weeks, Spring Training commences, and with the AGM to follow, we will officially close the books on 2018.
”Change is a constant in the VAFA and that usually means virtually no off-season for club officials. No matter how successful a season has been, we try to raise the bar the next year. All other clubs are doing the same, particularly our strongest rivals,” said OXFC President Matt Coasgrave.
“Setting the right coaching structures and finding the right people to work within them are crucial to eventual success. This year, we will be welcoming some new faces to the Xavs, and renewing acquaintances with others who have been part of our club previously.
“We’ve been fortunate to have so many quality people involved in our coaching over the years. Not just our senior head coaches, but their assistants and those who have coached other teams at our club. Every one of them has some stake in our achievements as a club.
“We welcome our new senior coach Paul Satterley and his new assistants to our club. We welcome back some fine people too and trust the crew in charge of next season’s sail will find strong and favourable winds.
With new Old Xavs coach Paul Satterley about to embark on his first spring training with the Red ‘n’ Blacks, he has been busy assembling his team of assistants.
Joining our club are two assistants who have worked closely with Satterley at De La Salle.
Archie Whiting will assume the role of midfield coach.
Whiting comes to us from Dairy Bell, where he was coach of the DLS Reserves this year. He was previously a senior assistant at Fitzroy (2017), and Old Geelong (2014-15). His playing background includes stints at Sturt (SANFL), Old Geelong, Barwon Heads and North Ballarat, where he was captain of the TAC Cup U18 team.
Satts says: On joining DLS last year, Archie quickly established himself as a very capable coach . We asked him to step up mid year to take on some additional match day responsibilities with the Seniors and he handled both roles with aplomb.
Lachy Walker will coach the backline.
Walker was a senior assistant coach at DLS (2016) after looking after that club’s defence (2014-15). He was also an assistant coach at that club (2011-13) after a playing briefly at Zillmere Eagles & Kedron Grange (both QAFL) before playing over 150 games with the Bellers.
Satts says: Lachy was my sidekick for 3 years at De La who stepped away because of the demands of a young family and increased work commitments. I’m delighted to have him back, and I’m sure our defensive unit will respond to his coaching.
The newcomers will be assisted by two more familiar faces, who have significant runs on the Old Xavs coaching board already.
Dan Donati and James Byrne, who did sterling jobs under Matthew Hannebery in the 2018 season, will return to the coaching platform at Toorak Park.
Satts says: James Byrne and Dan Donati are both quality people with impeccable backgrounds as players and leaders at football clubs. I can’t wait to work with them and anticipate they will again bring a lot to our coaching and playing group.
Dan Curtain and Louis Tiernan, who is recovering from ACL surgery, join 2018 co-coach Nick Pepperell on the Premier Reserves panel.
AROUND THE VAFA
Senior coaching changes around Premier Section have been relatively few this off-season, with Tom Williams leaving his co-coach Guy Martin in sole charge at SKOB; Heath Jamieson replacing old friend James Walker at Uni Blues; and Peter Schwab taking the reins at De La Salle after Paul Satterley replaced Matt Hannebery at Old Xavs.
Shane Joyce (Collegians), Greg Hutchison (Old Brighton), Bernie Dineen (Old Trinity) - all of whom coached finals in 2018 - and Nathan Brown (OMs) are all back for another crack.
Joining that panel of eight are the mentors from the two promoted clubs - St Bernard’s Mark Riley and Old Carey’s Michael Tarrant - neither of whom are new to their roles.