Panton Hill has announced the appointment of AFLW premiership player Deanna Berry as senior assistant coach of its men’s football team in 2021.
Berry, who has played 24 AFLW games for the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne since the inception of the competition, was a member of the Bulldogs’ 2018 premiership side.
Originally drafted by the Demons with pick No. 9 in the inaugural AFL Women’s draft in 2016, she crossed to the Western Bulldogs at the conclusion of the 2017 AFLW season.
Berry has an intimate knowledge of the NFNL, having played much of her junior career with Mernda. She also represented Epping at junior level and played senior football for Montmorency.
Her appointment as senior assistant coach comes as Panton Hill makes its return to MC Labour Division 2 after claiming the Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 premiership in 2019.
Berry will work alongside senior coach Simon Amore, who is preparing for his first senior coaching role after taking the reins from 2019 premiership coach Steve Layt.
Continue below to read the statement from Panton Hill Football Club.
Panton Hill Football Club in Melbourne’s highly competitive Northern Football Netball League is thrilled to announce the appointment of current AFLW Western Bulldogs player Deanna Berry as the Redbacks senior assistant coach for 2021.
President Jason Dimmock said the club sees it as a progressive and exciting move.
“2018 AFLW premiership player Deanna will help guide the team on its journey into Division 2, having won the Division 3 flag in 2019,” Dimmock said.
Having been in the AFLW system since 2017, Deanna brings a wealth of knowledge into playing systems, routines, diets and drills at the elite level, and the dedication required to reach the pinnacle.
She will also have the ear of her own AFLW coach Nathan Burke to help her with her coaching role at the Hill.
Deanna will have no issues getting her instructions across to the players. She does it every day as an education assistant at the Richmond Football Club.
“(I am) excited to be joining the Redbacks, a club that’s seen as extremely progressive in the NFNL in the league I played juniors in,” Berry said.
“It’ll be a steep learning curve for me, and the players too, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Panton Hill senior coach Simon Amore, embarking on his first season in the top role, said it was a no-brainer when he heard Deanna was keen.
“Elite players of any sport don’t come around too often at suburban clubs, so to have a current player and person of the calibre of ‘Moo’ is very exciting for the club and our list,” Amore said.
“Who were really rapt to hear she was joining us.”
The NFNL season starts two weeks after the AFLW regular season ends.