Davis’ new challenge at Hillside


Tara Murray

New Hillside coach Rob Davis is hoping to take the side to the next level in the Essendon District Football League premier division.

The Sharks have been one of the big improvers in the women’s competition and were in the premiership mix this season until the pandemic saw the season called off.

Davis replaces inaugural women’s coach Justin Fairservice.

Davis said he was excited to return to coaching after a couple of years off.

“I coached for a few years at the club previously, I coached the under-16s and under-18s [both boys].

“I needed a bit of a break after coaching for 11 years straight. I had a couple of seasons off and I was wondering where I would get the passion back to coach, and I believe that is with this women’s side.”

This will be Davis’ first time coaching female football, but with two daughters and a wife at home, he has some understanding.

Davis said for him, he decided to take on the role as he believed that he could make a difference.

He paid tribute to the work that Fairservice and his coaching group had done to get the side to where it currently is.

“With training structures and the protection of the bodies,” he said of what he was looking to improve.

“There’s different techniques. Many are still raw. They are a great bunch of women and are striving for knowledge.

“They want to learn quickly and this group of ladies work very hard. With some fine tuning with training and structures they’ll be not only good footballers, but great footballers.”

Davis said early conversations with the playing group had been fruitful and he and the players seemed to be on the same page.

“Coaching women’s football is something not too many people would have ever thought I would do,” he said.

“I’m very passionate and I don’t hold back. The players said that was what they wanted.”

Davis said he would also work to mentor the under-18 girls side to make sure they’re all on the same page.

Now for Davis and the group, they’re keen to get pre-season underway.

“I’ve got a really good program for the pre-season.”