By Tara Murray
Burnside Heights has appointed experienced coach Jeff Stevens as its women’s coach for the Essendon District Football League season.
With former coach Brent Thomas stepping down from the role due to health reasons last month, Stevens has been given the job of leading the women’s side in their second season.
Stevens said one of the main reasons he decided to apply for the role was it allowed him to coach while he could still watch his three children play football.
His daughter Ebony Stevens plays in the Bears’ side, while his other daughter Brodie is aligned with the Bears while playing with Williamstown in the VFLW competition.
Son Dyson Stevens, who also played VFL, will play with Melton in the Ballarat Football League this season.
“I haven’t coached for the last few seasons,” Stevens said. “I’ve been watching my kids play football.
“What interested me at the start was being able to coach the Burnside women’s side and I get to watch Dyson, Ebony and Brodie play football.”
Stevens brings an extensive coaching background to the role, not only from football but other sports as well.
He coached juniors at Deer Park from under-10s through to under-19s, coached at the Western Jets and Western Region Football League interleague sides.
He’s also coached women’s netball and basketball for a number of years.
Stevens took his first training session with the women’s side last week and said he was ready to get things under way.
He said coaching a side which finished runners-up last season was something that excited him about the role.
The Bears lost just two matches last season, both to eventual premier Pascoe Vale.
“The girls have been thrown around a bit and as I said to them, Monday is a fresh start,” he said.
“We have a similar squad to last season. There’s still a lot of room for improving.
“For me, it’s about teaching them the correct technique. If they can learn that it will help them a lot.”
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