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Bull Sharks to show plenty of Hart under new coach

Shaun Hart coaching
New Bull Sharks senior QFA coach Shaun Hart 

Bull Sharks footballers have a clear path to improvement in 2024 – do as the coach says, and as he does.

Brisbane Lions legend Shaun Hart has been appointed senior coach of the Bond University QFA senior side for 2024. 

Hart is one of the most revered figures in Queensland AFL history and the Shaun Hart Trademark Player of the Year award - won by All Australian captains Michael Voss and Jonathan Brown, and in 2023 by Josh Dunkley - has been highly coveted by Lions footballers since its inception in 2006.

Hart, who joined the Bull Sharks ahead of the 2023 season as Coach Education and Culture Development Manager assumes the senior coaching role left vacant by Luke Mansbridge who has taken a break from the game. 

The 2001 Norm Smith medallist as the best player in the Lions’ premiership triumph over Essendon brings a wealth of coaching experience to the role having served as an assistant at the Gold Coast Suns and as Director of Coaching at Port Adelaide. 

Bond University Director of AFL Andy Lovell said Hart’s football IQ had already made an impact at the Bull Sharks. 

His hope is that Hart’s work ethic, team-first mentality and fierce drive for constant improvement would become entrenched in the Bull Sharks DNA.   

“Every message Shaun Hart preaches to his players, every act or behaviour on and off the ground that he implores them to do, will be something he lived himself as a player and as a person,” Lovell said.

“I can’t imagine a better role model for a young person to model themselves on.’’

Hart, a three-time premiership player at the Lions, said he had been highly impressed with the Bond University AFL club and had no hesitation in taking up the whistle and whiteboard again.  

“Being part of the culture of the club which I would describe as incredibly ‘together’ and witnessing the experience of new players has reinvigorated my love of coaching,” he said.

“In 2024, our aim is to continue to raise up leaders who drive our program, particularly player connection and continuous individual improvement. 

“Team Care will be a major theme we will look to build on.”

Hart said the improvements the side made in 2023, when they returned to the QFA Grand Final after falling short in 2022, placed them in a good position to once again challenge for the flag.

“We are aware that we must seek improvement in the key areas that our game was built on - tough, contested footy; heat on the ball producing front-half turnover defence; and quick, outnumber offence that challenges opposition defences,” he said.

“If we continue to hunt, we can continue to challenge for success through both grades. “

Bond University Vice Chancellor and President Tim Brailsford said he was delighted Hart had agreed to take over the reins of the senior side.

“The club is very fortunate to have attracted Shaun who brings extraordinary experience, absolute commitment and an unbelievable passion for the game,” he said.

“Shaun’s presence around the club last season made an immediate impact, and his positive energy and impactful insights was a significant factor in the club’s success in 2023.

“The appointment of Shaun to the Men’s Head Coach role for this year is a major boost and already there is a buzz around pre-season training.”

Shaun Hart

Age 52.

Playing career – 273 games with the Brisbane Lions.

Premierships 2001,2002,2003.

Norm Smith medal 2001.

Coaching career. 

QAFL - Senior coach Broadbeach. 

AFL assistant coach, development coach Gold Coast Suns.

Director of coaching Port Adelaide. 

Head of Welfare Gold Coast Suns.

Senior Coach Bond University AFL Club.

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