Top Eaglehawk coaching appointments set for 2018

THE good news keeps coming for BFNL club Eaglehawk.

As grand final fever continues to grip the Borough, the Hawks have announced the re-signing of A-grade netball coach Mali Roberts.

It follows hot on the heels of the reappointment earlier this month of senior football coach Josh Bowe for a second season.

Bowe will lead the Hawks into grand final battle this weekend against Strathfieldsaye.

Eaglehawk Football Netball Club vice-president Andrew Reid said Roberts and Bowe were clear-cut choices to continue in their roles and their early appointments would provide the club with plenty of stability and momentum.

Roberts, who joined the Hawks after a season away from coaching in 2016, led the Hawks to their first finals appearance since their last premiership season in 2012.

The former Papua New Guinea international and Queensland Firebird said after giving consideration to whether she could juggle the demands of coaching with those of her netball consulting business, the decision to continue coaching was an easy one to make.

Roberts naturally disappointed the Hawks were unable to progress further than the A-grade elimination final, but firmly believed the season had been a success and integral in setting the club up for a bright future.

“We set a few goals and there was a big culture change – and I have a particular style of coaching which the club is very supportive of,” she said.

“So there were a lot of adjustments early on in the season and the success came with the girls adjusting to that and all of us moving together.

“Of course we wanted to go a little deeper in the finals – A-grade was close – all of our teams were close except the 17s.

“However we still have one team (B-grade) left in the grand final, which we are real excited about.”

With the appointment made, Roberts said attention would turn to retaining as many players as possible from this year’s squads ahead of try-outs.

Bowe, who returned to the Hawks this season after four years in Western Australia, believed the coaching appointments had added to the “fantastic vibe” around the club.

“To be able to lead my home club into a grand final is pretty special,” he said.

“It’s such a proud club, with such a rich history, and I’ll be proud to lead the boys out on Saturday.

“Hopefully we can bring a premiership back to the old faithful, it would mean so much to a lot of people here at Eaglehawk.

“Everyone in the community is right behind us, you can see that driving through the town, with all the shop windows.”

The Hawks will have both their senior and reserves teams contesting grand finals at the QEO on Saturday.

Bowe viewed the reappointment of Roberts as netball leader as another fantastic step in the right direction for a club that has made plenty of right moves in recent seasons.

“Mali has done such a fantastic job, there’s been some really great results across all grades,” he said.

“To have someone with her reputation and what she’s achieved at our club is fantastic for everyone.”

The coaches are not the only people to recommit to the club for 2018, with Reid announcing McKern Steel had agreed to continue as major sponsor for next season.

“Michael (McKern) has been a great contributor to the Eaglehawk community for a long period of time now and as the club sees itself as a community leader this is a great partnership for both parties,” he said.