The Caulfield Grammarians’ Football Club (CGFC) was established in 1920 and has continued to be a powerhouse on the field, being one of the oldest clubs in the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA). The season generally runs from April to September, with pre-season training beginning for many teams in November/December.
The Caulfield Grammarians Women’s Team competed in the inaugural season of VAFA’s Premier Division back in 2017. The Fields Women’s program has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2017, culminating in the Seniors’ first premiership in 2019 in the Premier B Division.
The Caulfield Grammarians defeated Old Xaverians by 14 points, 2.2 (14) to 0.0 (0), at Mentone Playing Fields on August 18, 2019. Coached by Mitch Dupljanin and led by Toni Hamilton, the Women’s win the 2019 Women’s B Section Premiership. The medal went to Irena Malliaras, who was judged best on the ground. The game was played in dreadful weather, making scoring extremely difficult. Caulfield Grammarians won their first women’s premiership in only their third year of existence. After only a year of being relegated, it also brings the club back to A Grade.
The Reserves moved up to the William Buck Premier Division in 2021 but narrowly missed out on a spot in the finals. On the other hand, the Seniors nabbed a semifinal victory before the global health crisis ended the season.
Recently, the Caulfield Grammarians Football Club announced the appointment of Damien Keeping as the senior women’s coach for the 2022 season. Assistant coaches Deb Konopnicki and John Nankervis and reserves coach Alix Kearney are joining him.
Damien has a long history in women’s football, having coached the Carlton Football Club in AFLW and the Casey Scorpions in VFLW before taking over as head coach of the Caulfield Grammarians Football Club women’s team. Before getting involved in women’s football, Damien spent several years coaching the Calder Cannons. Damien, a relationship-driven coach with vast experience in empowering his teams, comes to the club with excellent references from several VFLW aligned players.
Meanwhile, Deb was named the reserves coach in 2021, having spent the previous years playing and coaching at South Melbourne Districts. She has built up an impressive reserves group this season, and the squad is looking forward to what she can accomplish with the senior team in 2022.
On the other hand, John is a former senior player at the Fields who began his coaching career with the Prahran Assumption women’s team in 2018. John rejoined the Fields as an assistant coach in 2021, and the club is eager to rehire his knowledge for 2022.
Finally, Alix has a lengthy and illustrious footy past as a player and coach. She comes to the club from South Melbourne in the VAFA, where she was a playing Co-Head Coach in 2021 and has been an assistant coach since 2017. Alix has prior links with many of the team’s players and coaches. She focuses her coaching approach on relationships, comprehending people, and contributing to a good club culture in which individuals may flourish.
Club President Will Bowes had this to say of the team’s coaching hires: “We have a lot of faith and belief in our playing group, and we wanted to put together the best coaching group possible to help them maximize their potential. We welcome Damien and Alix to the Fields. With Damien, Deb, John & Alix, we believe we have done that, and as a club, we are excited to see what our girls can achieve in 2022.”
Prepare Like A Pro’s Jordan Love will handle the team’s strength and conditioning. He comes with an impressive list of credentials, including a Graduate Diploma in Psychology, Bachelor of Exercise Science, and Certificates 3 and 4 in Fitness. He has had previous stops with the Geelong Falcons and the Carlton VFLW.
A strength and conditioning intern at Prepare Like A Pro, Jordan is passionate about helping athletes become the best versions of themselves through proper strength and conditioning practices.
“The pursuit of constant growth and being able to hold space for others to grow as humans. Whether you are a coach or an athlete, this pursuit is a way to lean into discomfort and push our boundaries as humans. With so much science, there is always something to learn,” Jordan said.