MNNSW finalised their head coaching lists for all state teams by announcing Dennis Napara and Georgie Arrow to lead the 20’s and 17’s age campaigns. These final appointments leave the NSW state program in readiness for their selection trials in October.
The two coaches are known to the men’s game, with Napara a former state coach and player, and a former NZ international. Arrow joined the state program in 2019 only to have her first nationals delayed by the pandemic.
NSW President Clare McCabe said these divisions and the pathway around them have been “under construction” for many years to try and rival the depth and dominance of Victoria.
“Victoria have this pipeline of talent that produces a consistent flow of youth titles year after year. All other states have tried different things to bring larger numbers and a broader range of talent in at a younger age and that is the key to success in these divisions.”
When asked where the talent growth is coming from across both teams, McCabe said there has been a lot of focus on schools and regional athletes.
“We have done a lot of work in the schools system and traveled our clinic program far and wide in recent years. We are already seeing this grow our junior MLeague base and expect it to run on in state programs this year.” McCabe said.
The two coaches bring different approaches to the game, with Napara known for his flair and passion and Arrow regarded as a leader with the “mothering” qualities a young side needs.
“We saw Dennis have a huge amount of success in our youth program on last appointment. He connects with his players and in doing so is able to extract all of that raw tribal-like energy we expect out of a young group of men, but controls this with a level of professionalism that makes him the perfect mix of light and shade.” McCabe said
“With Georgie we get all that tough and warm love of a mother that men’s youth teams need to stay confident yet disciplined, she is a steady set of hands for development that I would entrust with our emerging talent every day of the week.” McCabe said.
The two close out the 2021 appointments for the sky blues, with Player announcements to come in October. “If the player selections draw the same amount of talent growth we were fronted with through coach selection, we are in for a big 2021.” McCabe said.