Dunne returns to the ‘pouch’

Georgia Marinier (Ljubica Vrankovic) 344650_06_15

Chris Dunne has been revealed as the Sunbury Kangaroos women’s coach for the 2024 Essendon District Football League season.

Dunne was the Kangaroos youths first ever coach and took the under 18.5 girls to two consecutive grand finals in the AFL Goldfields Competition, in 2017 and 2018.

Now he will transition into senior women’s football which is a challenge he said he is looking forward to.

“It’s been a long time coming back, but I’m happy to be back and pretty excited,” he said.

“Women’s football has come a long way in the last five, six, seven years.

“It’s good to see some of the older players coming back to the club, so it’s just a happy environment, I hope.”

Since Dunne’s announcement as coach, there has been a flurry of women wanting to return to the club including the former captain Tylah Bell, something that Dunne said he takes a lot of confidence and excitement from.

“I’m still getting messages today from ladies who want to come back, so that’s good,” he said.

“Last year we didn’t have a lot of growth in the club, not for any particular reason, nothing to do with the coach or anything, but this year we’re just trying to build it back to what it was.”

Last year the Kangaroos finished in fifth place, one spot out of finals in division 2, featuring in finals football in 2024 is something that Dunne is hoping his side can do.

“I think they are capable of it,” he said.

“We’ve got to get them on the path to do that, but last year they started off really rough, and half way through the year the girls just clicked.

“The majority of those girls will come back, I think 90 per cent of those girls will be playing next year.”

After struggling to field a side last season to an influx of players coming to the club, things are certainly on the rise at the Kangaroos.

“Five to 10 [players will be joining] which is a big jump from last year,” Dunne said.

“We struggled to have a team every week, so that’s a good thing, we might have a bench this year which will help a lot, it’ll be good.”

Harper Sercombe