Napoli Calls Time

The Box Hill Hawks wish to advise Daniel Napoli, the Club’s General Manager – VFL and VFLW, has resigned his position.

He will remain in the role until mid-November.

Napoli departs City Oval after six years having held a variety of management positions to pursue an opportunity outside of football.

He leaves an indelible mark on the Box Hill Hawks, having overseen just about every aspect of its on and off-field operations, while setting a course for a future that promises continued success.

Napoli’s varied achievements in the role speak to the breadth of his contributions. During his time at Box Hill he has overseen football programs which have produced seven AFL and 16 AFLW players –  having laid the foundation for the latter by building the Club’s inaugural VFLW program.

The Club’s VFL side has played finals in every year of his tenure but the abandoned 2020 and 2021 seasons, while the men’s and women’s programs claimed a history-making VFL and VFLW premiership double in 2018.

Away from football, Napoli was a key driver of the Box Hill City Oval Redevelopment Project, a long-term venture which received funding pledges early this year to ensure the dream of a revitalised City Oval will soon become a reality.

“It’s a bittersweet decision, but one that is right for myself and my family at this point in our lives,” Napoli said.

“My journey with this football club started back in 2012 when I joined Hawthorn as a Football Administration Officer, before moving into the role of Operations Coordinator between 2013-2016.

“Ultimately, it all wraps up six fantastic years after that. It’s a time that I reflect on with great fondness and pride.”

The departing GM paid tribute to the Hawks’ culture of development – something he was well-placed to comment on as one who has both benefitted from and paid it forward.  

“I believe that we’re a development platform first and foremost.

“As is the case for our players, coaches, staff and volunteers, the opportunity to come here and step into a number of different roles was a fantastic way to continue my personal development.

“That’s where I go: our people and their development. We’ve had so many wonderful people come through the doors and forge their careers in this industry over my six years here.

“Without doubt the most rewarding part of the job was always seeing our staff or players graduate into elite programs. It’s what we’re about and what has made my time at the Club so memorable”

When asked to pick a standout moment of his time at City Oval, Napoli was drawn to the highest of highs – but only briefly.

“It’s hard to go past that September afternoon at Marvel Stadium back in 2018. If I could re-live a single day from my time here it’d be that one. 

“To win a premiership is a wonderful achievement, so it’s difficult to put into words how special it was to claim both the men’s and women’s flags that day. 

“But again, it’s the people who made this Club such a special place to be and be a part of. The rooms after a win, cold nights at training, team dinners and the like with our staff – those are the sort of things I’ll miss.”

Box Hill Hawks President Ed Sill paid tribute to his departing General Manager’s character, impact and achievements.

“There’s no question Dan leaves a wonderful impression on our football club,” Sill said.

“I believe he’s the best administrator at this level in the country and his record speaks to that. 

“His ability to assess and evolve every facet of our football program is what has kept us competitive year after year.

“Dan’s been able to build and then re-build our playing and coaching staff, as well as our high performance and medical teams, administrative staff and volunteers time and again to ensure we’re as well resourced as possible.”

Sill further commended Napoli’s work away from the football side of the business.

“Ultimately, the VFL environment is really unique. The turnover we experience year-on-year across all departments is often significant and the way Dan has so deftly navigated those challenges is testament to him,” he said.

“It’s really down to creating and sustaining a strong culture and in Dan’s case he’s done a remarkable job ensuring this football club is as well placed on-field as it is off. 

“In terms of the City Oval Redevelopment Project, that’s something of a legacy piece for all of us and Dan has been instrumental in bringing it to life.

“I consider the Box Hill Hawks to be a better Club for Daniel Napoli’s time with us. We’ve been so fortunate to call him ours for six years, but at the same time we recognise the opportunity in front of him and support his decision to step away.”

The Box Hill Hawks will communicate news regarding the filling of this position in due course. 

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