WFNC Head to Sydney for AFL 9's

Wandin Football Club head to Sydney to compete in AFL 9’s Classic

November 16, 2016 1:55pm


NEW Wandin coach Nick Rutley will get to know some his players in a unique setting next week.

Rutley, who has replaced co-coaches Jarrod Bayliss and Josh Taylor, and a team of 12 players are Sydney bound to compete in the AFL 9’s Classic.

The club was invited to participate in the tournament after winning the 2015 Yarra Ranges Division 1 flag.

There are four cash prizes on offer in the men’s section and if successful the club will donate half of its prizemoney to the Wandin CFA.

Rutley said trip would tick several boxes.

“It’s going to be great to get to know a dozen of the boys on our list and to build some rapport and relationships,’’ he said.

“Competing will be fun it’s a social, non-contact, modified game, nine versus nine, but there’s a little bit of game plan we can work in to an extent.

“And most importantly hopefully we do win some prizemoney and split it with the Wandin CFA, it’s a terrific initiative and very good cause.”

Rutley arrives at Wandin with an extensive development coaching background at TAC Cup clubs Calder Cannons and Eastern Ranges and VFL outfits Box Hill and Casey Scorpions.

The 32-year-old father of four lives in Healesville across the road from the Bloods’ Don Road home ground.

“Getting the nod for the job was probably my development background and the club really wants to build from within,’’ he said.

“The way AFL Victoria is going to be structured, and how it should be, with the salary cap and points means clubs are going to have to get really well drilled in coaching their youth within and progressing them through junior to senior ranks.

“I think the days are going to be gone, sooner rather than later, where you can just roll out the chequebook and buy success, you’re going to have to grow and coach it from within which I think is a good thing.”

The Doggies have retained the majority of their strong core of Matt Polkinghorne, Scott Dwyer, Robbie Ross, Justin Myers and Brad Harvey, have recruited Nic Molnar (South Croydon) and Sean Barnard (North Ringwood) and are hopeful some former players will also return to the kennel.

“Development and the kids coming through is a big focus for the club. There’s a few kids who played senior footy last year that I’m really excited about,’’ Rutley said.

“We’ve got a really good core group of senior heads, combine that with the youth coming through and a couple of recruits, I’m pretty confident we can have a really successful year.”


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