Incoming Darebin first-team coach Siobhan O’Dwyer says player development will be her primary focus ahead of the 2022 season.
O’Dwyer was announced on Monday as the Falcons’ new coach following the departure of long-time mentor Elise Casamento.
O’Dwyer brings vast coaching experience to A.H. Capp Reserve, having previously served as AFL South East interleague coach, as well as coaching several Premier Division sides in the VAFA and assisting the Next Generation Academy at both St Kilda and Collingwood.
As well as her previous coaching experiences, she will also have completed a Diploma of Coaching by the time the season begins.
Speaking to NFNL.org.au, O’Dwyer stated that her experience in developing players was an asset she wished to bring to the Falcons.
“Every team and every club want to play finals. Certainly, that would be a great highlight, but not at the expense of developing players,” O’Dwyer told NFNL.org.au.
“If you develop players the wins come and that’s where I’ll be concentrating, just getting the best out of them, developing them skill-wise, fitness and conditioning-wise.
“(If) we get the best out of the list that we’ve got, then that’s where we measure our achievements.”
A former player in the Victorian Women’s Football League, O’Dwyer said it had long been an ambition to coach Darebin.
“They’ve been a club that I’ve respected for a long time since being a player,” she said.
“It’s certainly something that I’ve held on a pedestal for a long time in terms of coaching and wanted to eventually be good enough to be a part of.
“For me that’s the big achievement to be able to get a senior role in the club.”
O’Dwyer met most of the team Tuesday night, saying the playing group are excited heading into pre-season.
“As a coaching group we’ve connected, we’ve done some planning together. I’ve met some of the girls that trialled at the VFL side,” she said.
“I’ve met some of the players, but I’ll be meeting the majority of the playing group Tuesday night.
“They’ve all indicated that they’re pretty keen to move into the next space of their journey. I’m certainly keen to get started with them and start building a relationship.”
As well as announcing the appointment of O’Dwyer, Darebin also confirmed Tom McGuigan will continue as coach of the club’s second team.
Maddie Webster and Sam Pritchard will step up from playing to take on assistant coach roles. Meanwhile. Brad Hill will return as coach of the club’s under-18s team.