The Sydney University Australian National Football Club (SUANFC) has had a very active off and preseason period in the lead up to the new look 2014 North East AFL (NEAFL) and Sydney AFL (SAFL) home and away seasons.
With greatly improved results in 2013 in both the NEAFL and SAFL built off the development of the football club environment to true State League Standards, the club has been able to attract a new caliber of recruit in preparation for what is expected to be an even stronger NEAFL competition in 2014.
Improved performances on field have not been the only draw card for Sydney Uni as it looks to make further improvements to its already enviably resourced High Performance Program. The appointment of Tom Reddin as the club’s full time strength and conditioning coach will complement the HP Program currently managed by former WAFL player and 2013 recruit, Tommy Ayton, himself an Exercise Physiologist. With the support of Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness (SUSF), Reddin was recruited from A-League Club, Melbourne Heart and complements his sports science qualification with a playing background in Australian Rules.
The club’s Elite Athlete Scholarships have also played a role in several key recruits’ decision to join the club, with a number of players also invited to take up offers with The University of Sydney Business School’s 2014 Masters’ Program.
Ryan Brabazon is one such player joining SUANFC in 2014.
“Having been offered the chance to take on a playing Assistant Coach role was something that really appealed to me at this stage of my football career,” said Brabazon.
“I have also accepted a role in the Sydney University Masters Degree program which will further my education and enhance my career off the field. It is an exciting time for the football club and I am looking forward to the challenge of helping to develop the club into a strong position within in NEAFL in 2014 and beyond”.
Brabazon was drafted to the Sydney Swans in 2005, before returning to WAFL club, Claremont, where he made two grand final appearances, one of those a premiership in 2011. Brabazon has spent the past two seasons in the NEAFL with Canberra side, Eastlake. He will join NEAFL Senior Coach, Daniel Gilmore as one of three 2014 senior assistant coaches.
“After a very promising 2013, where the senior squad got back to basics of football, we have looked to add some mature football minds around the group as we look to add further layers to our game plan in 2014,” explained Gilmore.
“Ryan’s playing history and ambition to take on a larger responsibility within the football department, has given us an opportunity to recruit a player that fills our requirements. With the right application, we strongly believe Ryan’s best football is in front of him and with our squad’s excellent coachability, we see this placement as a valuable addition to our organisation.”
Also joining Brabazon are former VFL Team of the Year and Sydney Swan player Matt O’Dwyer, former East Fremantle senior player Lewis Fasolo and Hawthorn FC and North Melbourne FC listed player Will Sierakowski, while recently delisted GWS Giants player, Setanta O’Hailpin will spend the 2014 season training with the University side bringing an AFL training ethic to the group.
Recently elected 2014 SUANFC Vice President, NEAFL Football Tom Matson adds to the quality management and oversight of the university-based football program as he brings to bear a decade of WAFL playing experience backed by a professional background in elite sports administration and management. Matson is excited with the developments across the club and believes SUANFC is taking steps to establish itself as a genuine centre for football excellence. He is optimistic that the injection of quality personnel along with developments in club process and strategy will continue to foster a premiership winning culture and create an environment where club members can develop themselves as contributory participants within the community.
For further comment or information on the Sydney University Australian National Football Club, please contact Club President, Chas Wilkinson via email: [email protected]