The Cardiff Hawks Australian Football Club is pleased to announce the reappointment of Nathan Harkness to the position of head coach for the 2018 BDAFL season.

Harkness joined the Hawks for the 2017 season and guided the club to the BDAFL grand final.

The resurgent Hawks won fifteen games during the season just past, finishing second in the minor premiership before going down by just nine points to Terrigal in the grand final.

Harkness said that he was delighted to be reappointed to the role for the coming season.

“Our club had a great season in 2017 and we are aware that 2018 will be a tough proposition” Harkness said.

The Hawks have also invested in the leadership of the club by appointing 2017 BDAFL Elliott Davey medalist Tom Yensch as Harkness’s Assistant Coach for the 2018 season.

The 24 year old who came to the club this year from the Lavington Panthers is looking forward to both playing and having the opportunity to be mentored by Harkness in the finer points of coaching.

Tom Yench elliot Davey Medal winner

“Nathan changed a lot of the playing structures and his coaching ethos suited my style of play so it will be good to get a first hand look at football from his perspective.” Yensch said. “It can only help me develop as a player and I might be able to give Simon (O’Brien) a bit more of a hand in leading the side” he added.

Harkness is pleased that Yensch has taken on the role and believes that the added responsibility won’t detract from Yensch’s effectiveness as a player “football is like life, their are those born to lead and those that are happy to follow and Tom is very much the former”.

“He has a big presence on the field however at the same time he is a team player and a great student of the game and I am looking forward to working closely with him” Harkness said.  

The BDAFL is introducing a player points system for the 2018 season to restrain clubs from over-recruiting which Harkness says will add a new dynamic to the competition.  “We will have a little bit of room to move under the cap however our grand final winning reserve grade side is full of young talent and we have a great junior club feeding the senior sides so the fundamentals of the club are very strong.”

The Hawkettes will be guided club life members and former premiership players Paul Cooksley and Peter Youman in 2018 and they are looking forward to building on the solid foundations that were set last season.

The club will commence pre-season training on Tuesday 21st November, 2017 for a five week period leading up to the Christmas break and current and prospective Hawkettes are welcome to join in the fitness component of these training sessions.  

Full pre-season training for the ladies team will start when the club recommences training in early January, 2018.