HUNTLY is embarking on a co-coaching structure for the 2017 Heathcote District Football-Netball League season.
While Jamie Hogan is continuing on as coach of the Hawks for a third season, he will be joined in the role by star midfielder Ryan Semmel.
“Sem is so professional in his preparation and as an on-field leader,” Hogan said this week.
While Semmel – the reigning Cheatley medallist – is a familiar face at Huntly, the Hawks have added a number of new ones as they aim to improve on last year’s preliminary final appearance.
The Hawks have a new ruckman in Rhett Sutton, who joins Huntly from Koodrook-Barham.
Sutton – a former team-mate of Semmel’s at Rye – has an impressive footballing CV that includes captaining the Nepean inter-league team, while also twice a vice-captain of Victoria Country representative sides.
“Rhett has the ability to play any key position. Along with his exceptional on-field ability, Rhett will be a great asset off field, with a wealth of knowledge and experience,” the Hawks said when they announced Sutton’s signing.
Golden Square premiership player and former Huntly junior Jack Daley is back at the Hawks after playing last season with rival club White Hills.
The Hawks’ recruits also include South Mildura’s Dan Paterson, who previously won a best and fairest with Cohuna as a 17-year-old.
Paterson has previously been on the Bendigo Pioneers’ list, as has another of the Hawks’ recruits in Ben Connelly.
The Hawks’ defence will also include a new player in Tim Davison, an Australian Defence Force All-Stars selection in 2013.
“I am really pleased with our recruiting over the summer in targeting the specific positions that we needed to strengthen,” Hogan said.
On the netball court the Hawks have a new coach in Emily Eliades.
“We have had a stellar start to our 2017 campaign with quite a number of quality recruits to strengthen our existing base,” Eliades said.
“The girls are training hard and will be a fit and determined outfit for the 2017 season.”
After reforming their under-17s last year, the side will again be coached by Matt Jeffries.
“The boys from last season are all a year older now and have stayed on for another season. We have really good numbers this year and are looking forward to a rewarding season,” Jeffries said.
The Hawks have the bye in round one before playing reigning premier North Bendigo in round two on Saturday, April 15.