The North Hobart Football Club (NHFC) continues to commit considerable time and effort to support the opportunities for junior football players. Our senior club’s goal is to provide the equivalent of 100 days of coaching support to junior players each year, and in 2023 we exceeded that goal. A summary of our activity at the North Hobart Junior Football Club (NHJFC) follows. In our next newsletter we will provide a report on our activity at our other major junior feeder club, Sandy Bay Lions JFC.
NHFC continues to work closely with NHJFC to ensure we can increase participation across all age groups, and particularly those age groups where numbers are low. This had been enhanced by recently having a member of the NHJFC committee included on the Board of NHFC in the role of Director of Junior Development. This has further developed the relationship between the two clubs as we work to increase participation. I thank Josh Luttrell and Jonathan Rogers who have served as our Director of Junior Development in 2022 and 2023 respectively. We also thank Laura Negri who has served as our junior development program coordinator.
NHFC worked with the NHJFC to run a very successful school holiday program known as ‘Summer Squad’. Sessions had up to six senior players in attendance each week, including senior coach Adam Bester. 83 juniors registered for the program, including 24 new juniors to the club, who have since registered and played the season in their respective age groups.
NHFC provided numerous coaches for teams at NHJFC in boys and girls programs. We also conducted the Academy Program for under 17s boys and worked closely with both NHJFC and the Sandy Bay Lions Junior Football Club (SBLJFC) to organize boys’ and girls’ representative games against the highly regarded Mornington Peninsula Junior Football League from Victoria. This provided great opportunities to both promote both junior clubs to the wider community and allowed for further skills development at a higher level.
We thank coaches from both clubs and former NH senior coach, Richard Robinson, for their work in this program.
NHFC also arranged for our senior team coaches to visit junior training sessions throughout the season to assist junior coaches, and regularly invited NHJFC teams to attend North Hobart oval for combined training with the senior teams.
NHFC continues to work closely with NHJFC to schedule the maximum number of junior games at North Hobart Oval on senior men’s and women’s game days. These games promote both clubs, leading to increased participation and importantly highlights future pathways for our juniors.
North Hobart Auskick is coordinated by NHFC senior women’s team player Laura Negri and supported each week by a number of senior players from the men’s and women’s teams as well as senior coach Adam Bester. NHFC promoted Auskick and our partnership with NHJFC using our social media streams. The success of this program has seen a significant increase on the 2022 registrations.
Laura Negri is also the coordinator of the schools’ program and she is supported by a team of players from North Hobart including Emily Mifsud, Libby Johnstone, Max Cowburn and Azar Marathis. Through our work with AFL Tas, we delivered programs in a number of schools in our feeder district.
NHFC senior women’s players Laura Negri, Libby Johnstone, Chelsea Thomas, Ella Freeman, Hawi Bowerman and Maddie Chapman all have coaching roles at the junior and senior club this season while senior player Jack McCulloch has again taken on the role of U16.5 NHJFC boy’s coach.
In 2023 we have seen many players from the junior club making their way into our senior teams. Debutants as at the time of writing this report included:
Senior Women’s Division 1
Hawi Bowerman, Elizabeth Monks, Amelia Bannerman, Charlotte Barnes, Natasha Furjanic, Ebony McGinnis, Mackenzie Banks and Ella Splann
Senior Men’s TSL – Charlie Hastie
This year the club revamped our web page and commenced publishing this online newsletter. The web contains information about NHJFC including their match fixtures and results. We hope to include a junior club report in our newsletter each month in future.
It is possible that our men’s and women’s may compete in a six team Premier League in the south of Tasmania commencing 2025. This new structure may also include under 18 competitions, which to now has been the domain of the junior clubs. It is timely that the respective junior and senior club Directors work in close alignment to ensure we continue to provide the best possible pathways for our junior players, leading to success at both the junior and senior levels. This is enhanced by the close working relationship we enjoy with NHJFC President, Josh Harley Hill, and we look forward to the future as we find more opportunities for collaboration.
Together we are strong.