2021 Coaching Group Confirmed

With pre-season preparations underway, the Box Hill Hawks are pleased to announce our finalised coaching group for the 2021 VFL East Coast competition.

The newly appointed Sam Mitchell will embark on his first campaign as Senior Coach supported by Senior Assistant Andy Collins and a team comprising Aaron Cornelius, Clay Illman, Clint Proctor and Clinton Young.

Collins returns to City Oval following a storied coaching career in the VFL and SANFL in a role that extends beyond maximizing the on-field development of Box Hill’s playing group.

The former three-time AFL premiership player will play a leading hand mentoring and developing the Club’s coaching staff. He’ll perform a similar mentoring role with the Hawthorn VFLW Coaches including Senior Coach, Bec Goddard.

Aaron Cornelius, a former Tasmanian State League premiership coach and competition Coach of the Year, will enter his 3rd season with the Club.

Clay Illman has signed on following stints as an assistant in Williamstown and Richmond’s VFL programs, with fellow Seagulls alumnus Clint Proctor also crossing to the brown and gold.

A veteran of 150 VFL matches for Williamstown and Frankston, Proctor had been Collins’ Senior Assistant in 2018-19.

Finally, Clinton Young re-connects with his 2008 premiership captain, joining Sam Mitchell’s team following a 137-game AFL career for Hawthorn and Collingwood. Recently, Young enjoyed a three-year stint playing for and coaching Gisborne in the Bendigo Football League.

Another important resource for the Club’s coaches and players will be Andy Otten, whose role as Development Coach at Hawthorn will see him provide matchday assistance throughout the season.

“We’re extremely happy with the group we’ve put together and believe it lays a solid foundation for a successful 2021,” said Daniel Napoli, General Manager VFL and VFLW Football.

“We are a development-focused football club, and this group embodies that philosophy.

“In Sam Mitchell we have an intelligent and driven first-time Senior Coach, with Andy Collins at his side to provide invaluable feedback and support.

“More than just helping Sam, ‘Collo’ will be a terrific resource for all our coaches and staff, bringing a wealth of knowledge for them to learn from and feed off.

“For our assistant and development roles, Aaron, Clay, Clint, Clinton and Andy round out an exciting group.

“We’re confident we have the right mix of experience, skills and perspectives and look forward to them gelling over pre-season and attacking the season proper.”

With an eye beyond 2021, the Club’s Academy Program will be headed up by Box Hill champion and long-time staffer David Banfield, who will work alongside Academy Coaches Jason Philactides and Kade Pargeter.

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