Ryan Handley Reappointed Senior Coach 2022
It’s no surprise to anyone involved at club in the last two years that Ryan Handley has been reappointed Senior Coach for the 2022 season. Handley took the coaching reigns at the conclusion of the 2019 season, after the Jets missed finals. At the conclusion of the 2021 home and away season, the Senior side sits on top of the ladder with a 10-2 win-loss record.
The turnaround in the club’s football program even more impressive when you consider all the challenges thrown up by the pandemic and that the Jets have been based 10km away from home for 2 years while their facilities are redeveloped.
Handley was a brand new Senior coach and has since built brilliant chemistry with playing assistant coach Brent Rafferty, who returned to the club when as Handley took over. With Handley and Rafferty both playing, Kristian Bliesner and Pat Irons (Reserves Coach) have been trusted to assist from the bench, a dynamic that has worked perfectly.
Contributing the the club’s turnaround, the blooding of 18 brand new Senior players in 12 home and away games in 2021. Nine of those players coming directly from Handley’s football network, relishing the chance to play footy with their best mates and bought into Handley’s long term vision for the club.
Handley is high energy, models the standards and committment that he expects of others, shows interest and cares for every one at the club. Above all else though, he makes playing footy fun. Senior players like Daniel Kick, Buddy Spohn, Darcy O’Brien and Cooper Ferries have been able capture some of their best football and youngters like Joe Brennan and Max Hewitt have grown in confidence and really established themselves at Senior level.
The on field contribution of Handley can’t be understimated either. He had an injury interupted first season with the club in 2019, managing only 9 of 18 games. The 2020 lay off refreshed his body and he was able to play 11 or 12 home and away games in 2021 as a major contributor to the defensive unit, a calming influence on field and impeccable ball user.
Recognising that success isn’t built just on the field, Handley is driven to get the key pieces in place off the field as well. Having grown up around the club and having great relationships with past players, Handley has assisted in bringing in new and returning sponsors and establishing a Coterie group in 2021.
The Jets will move back to brand new facilities in Black Rock for the 2022 season, with stability on and off the field and an amazing platform to launch from. With Handley now locked in for another season, stay tuned for more exciting announcements.