Sandhurst greats take on junior roles

DRAGON LEADERS: Bill Robertson, Ben Sexton, Mark O'Farrell,  Matt Smith, Brad Hiatt and Dave Gallagher are part of the junior coaching panel.

DRAGON LEADERS: Bill Robertson, Ben Sexton, Mark O'Farrell, Matt Smith, Brad Hiatt and Dave Gallagher are part of the junior coaching panel.

Sandhurst will have a host of club greats coaching junior teams when the BJFL season kicks off this weekend.

Champion centre half-forward Ben Sexton has been joined by club greats Mark O’Farrell, Dave Gallagher, Matt Smith and Bill Robertson on the Dragons’ junior coaching panel.

The club has also added former Strathfieldsaye senior coach Clint Whitsed to its junior coaching staff.

For the first time the Dragons will field an under-15 girls team, which will be coached by Brad Hiatt who was previously assistant coach of St Kilian’s girls team which won the state championship in 2016.

Sandhurst’s coaching panel: Under-16 seniors: Ben Sexton and Matt Smith. Under-16 reserves: Mark O'Farrell. Under-14 seniors: Dave Gallagher. Under-14 Reserve 1: Clint Whitsed. Under-14 Reserve 2: Bill Robertson. Under-15 girls: Brad Hiatt.

The BJFL season will be the biggest on record, with 149 teams to compete in 2017.

“The under-9s along with the under-12 girls format is a great entry level for young players as it is a very safe modified version without tackling or bumping and provides a really enjoyable non-competitive environment for our youngsters,” newly-appointed AFL CV regional general manager Carol Cathcart said.

The BJFL has also added a 23rd club, with Heathcote fielding an under-12 side.

“It’s great to see so many kids and families wanting to be involved with the BJFL, with nearly 3000 players registered,” BJFL manager Norm Sheahan said.

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