2024 representative coach announcement

Following a strong response to the application process, AFL South Coast are thrilled to announce the signings of representative coaches for six of our 2024 squads.

Kiama’s Bryce O’Connor and Andrew Britton return to oversee the Under-15s Boys, whilst Shellharbour’s Matthew Clarke (Under-15s Girls) and Wollongong Lions’ Kenny Ewen-Chappell (Illawarra Under-13s Mixed) also return following their successful 2023 campaigns.

Figtree’s Men’s Premier Division premiership coach, Michael Coleman, will lead the South Coast Men’s side. Joining Coleman as new representative coaches this year are Northern Districts’ Bryce Lowrie (Under-17s Boys) and Shellharbour’s Tim Cuthbert (Under-13s Girls).

Who are our coaches:

Kenny Ewen-Chappell is one of the premier coaches in the group and with level three accreditation, it is great to have him return in 2024 with the 13s-Mixed. Ewen-Chappell’s 13s side went a respectable two wins and four losses at Coffs Harbour last year, after going unbeaten through four matches at the Shoalhaven Junior Carnival.

Bryce O’Connor led his Kiama Under-15s Boys team to an unbeaten premiership in 2023 whilst his representative assistant coach Andrew Britton also went unbeaten with his premiership-winning Kiama Under-13s Mixed side. Their Under-15s Boys split the results in Coffs Harbour, claiming three wins and three losses as well as claiming one win and one loss at Nowra against the Sapphire Coast. All things point towards O’Connor and Britton having a very talented squad at their disposal in 2024, and both coaches experience and skillset are sure to provide a high-quality experience for these players.

Matthew Clarke returns in 2024 having coached the Under-15s girls to a successful Northern NSW Carnival. Clarke’s team went a perfect six wins form six games at Coffs, the team’s success going a long way to the Illawarra returning home with the Simon Smyth Cup. Clarke has coached Shellharbour Swans girls’ teams for the past two seasons, his roles including the Grand Finalist Under-13s side in 2022 and 15s side in 2023.

Michael Coleman is no stranger to success on and off the field. Having joined Figtree in 2020, Coleman played in the three-time premiership winning Kangaroos Premier Division side. Having coached the team to success in 2022 and 2023, and having achieved representative selection in 2021, Coleman brings a wealth of knowledge to the squad. As the region’s local Coach Developer, Michael will also be a fantastic asset to our junior rep coaches in supporting their development.

New Coaches in 2024 include Tim Cuthbert and Bryce Lowrie. Cuthbert has spent the past two years in the coaching team at Shellharbour Swans, in the Under 11’s girls and Swans Under 15’s Boys teams. Lowrie, similarly has been coaching for the previous two seasons with Northern Districts Tigers.  

The coaches will now begin planning trials for their respective teams and preparing for their representative fixtures. Our junior sides will compete in two carnivals – Shoalhaven Junior Carnival against Sapphire Coast and Central West (July 5-7) and the Northern NSW Carnival in Coffs Harbour, involving Hunter-Central Coast and Northern NSW sides. Senior representative details are being finalised with the match to be held on July 6.

Following these appointments, AFL South Coast now turn its’ attention to filling the vacant coaching positions. There are unfilled positions for the South Coast Seniors Women’s team, in addition to Shoalhaven Under-13s Mixed and South Coast Under-17s Girls.

To apply for one of the remaining vacancies, please contact Jess Markut (Competition Coordinator – South Coast) via email at jessica.markut@afl.com.au outlining the team you wish to coach, your current coaching accreditation level, current club, and Working with Children Check details.

Congratulations to our 2024 representative coaches. Information regarding each teams’ selection trials will be posted on AFL South Coast Facebook, Instagram and website and will begin in early April.