After a long apprenticeship at Craigieburn Eagles, Ben Carroll is stepping up as the club’s senior women’s Big V coach.
A Craigieburn junior, Carroll has long been a part of Dennis McNamara’s coaching panel, first with the men’s side and this year with the women’s team.
Next year he’ll take the reins as a head coach. Carroll said it was exciting to step up and take charge of his own side.
“I’ve been at the club my whole life and it’s something I’m really excited about,” he said. “Dennis and I’ve had a good relationship for over seven years.
“I came across with him to the women’s side and now I’m coaching them in my own right.
“I’ve got the advantage of this year – learning the league, the opposition and the standard of the competition.”
Carroll said he was confident that the side was on the right track.
The Eagles finished seventh this year, a game outside the top six and finals. They had an interrupted start to the season with McNamara and Carroll stepping into the coaching panel, when Rod Sweeney had to step down because of work commitments.
The Eagles’ mid-seaspm win over eventual grand finalists Wallan showed they could match it with the top sides.
“As coaches we came in late,” Carroll said. “But we’re not making excuses.
“We weren’t as consistent as we would have liked. We were learning on the go. The Wallan game we were just starting to get going. We then struck a few injuries.”
Carroll said he was hopeful that this year’s playing group would return.
“We’ve got a really close-knit group,” he said. “We’ve got a core group of girls and we hope they will come back.”
Joining Carroll as an Eagles Big V coach is his brother Tom Carroll.
Tom has been named co-coach of the Eagles youth league men’s side with Lachlan Stokan. The youth league women’s side will also have a new coach, with Eugene Wong joining the Eagles.
Simon Wilson, who took the men’s side to a minor premiership, will continue on as coach of that side.