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New coach eyes former juniors

August 24, 2020 6:00 pm in by
Newly-appointed Newtown & Chilwell women's coach Simon Cavallo (front) with signings Courtney Stack, Ellie Dufty and Emily Allan. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

NEWLY-appointed Newtown & Chilwell coach Simon Cavallo will be chasing the club’s former junior as he goes about assembling his list for the Eagles’ entry to the competition into the AFL Barwon women’s competition 2021.

Newtown & Chilwell was the pacesetter during the former Youth Girls competition, winning five consecutive premierships between 2012-16 before the introduction of three age groups in 2017 as the concept exploded.

However, the Eagles were unable to translate that into a senior team when the AFL Barwon competition commenced in 2018.

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“I’ve spent this week calling a lot of the past junior that Newtown has, which has been fruitful,” Cavallo said.

“We’ve got a few girls who very keen to put on the black and red.

“They’ve missed the club, and they’ll run back through these doors and contribute to the program.”

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Cavallo is no stranger to women’s football, having played a key role in the development of the Geelong West Giants program.

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He played his junior football at Geelong West-St Peter’s and was president of Geelong West Cheetahs before the Giants alignment came into effect in 2017.

“I fell into the women’s program at West and loved it so much,” Cavallo said.

“After dealing with the men’s competition for so long, the women’s comp was so refreshing. So, I’ve got this passion now to coach.

“Newtown was one of the pioneers for girls footy in Geelong.

“They did a lot of the heavy lifting for me in years gone by, so I’ll just look to reengage those girls and bring them back to this great club.

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“The fact I’ve got a group of Newtown women that could potentially help fill a side makes my job easier.”

Cavallo was an assistant coach for two seasons at West, as well as coordinating the program in 2019, with the Giants reaching last year’s preliminary final after improving from four wins to 11.

“Newtown approached me, and we had some discussions late last year, but it was probably a bit too late to enter into that,” he said.

“And I loved the girls at West; we still had some unfinished business, which, unfortunately, we couldn’t see through in 2020.

“Then Newtown approached me again once the season was officially called off about a month ago.

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As well as the signing of former Adelaide AFLW player Jess Foley, the Eagles have already welcomed back former juniors Courtney Stack and Emily Allan.

Netball convert Ellie Dufty, who has moved to the area from Hamilton has also committed to the club and looks like a potential ruck option for Cavallo.

“I’ve got my plans to fast-track the development of this football side, but I think the immediate objective will be to focus on the culture,” he said.

“What I’ve learnt, is that if you get good people in your program, the rest takes care of itself.

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Twitter: @tom_king79

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