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Long-serving Bull Shark to coach AFL Reserves

James Fitchett and Andy Lovell
New men's AFL Reserves coach James Fitchett (l) alongside Bull Sharks AFL Director, Andy Lovell.

by Grace Knight

Bull Sharks stalwart James Fitchett will continue his long history at Bond University in 2023 as the head coach of the men’s AFL reserves team. 

The club’s first 100 game player, who has been a Bull Shark since the inaugural 2011 season, becomes the first from the men’s program to move into a coaching role after hanging up the boots.

Fitchett has a long and decorated connection to Bond as both a former employee of the University and as a Bachelor of Film and Television and a Master of Philosophy graduate. 

“I’ve been playing AFL for Bond since we first started in 2011 so this will be my first year not playing,” he said. 

“I’m feeling really excited about my new role within the club, we’ve got such a great core unit and I’m hoping to bring heaps of fun and to lead us through a great season.” 

He already has a great deal of coaching experience under his belt having taken on coaching roles in basketball, soccer and AFL. 

Bond AFL Director, Andy Lovell, noted the value of Fitchett’s diverse coaching background. He also said the sense of familiarity he brings will be a bonus. 

“I’m really excited to have James on board with our coaching staff, obviously he has a really long and decorated history with the club and we felt it was really important to have that connection,” he said.

“He’s obviously had a lot of experience across a few different sports in coaching and I think that’s really beneficial to have as it brings a different lens to his coaching.” 

Fitchett revealed his excitement to further grow and develop within his role in a mutually beneficial experience with his players. 

“I’ve always been a better talker than I am a player so I really want to tap into not only what I can do for the players but also what they can do for me in the sense of building me to be a better coach,” he said.

With such a strong connection to the Bull Sharks spirit, Fitchett’s great attitude and fun demeanour will no doubt serve the Bull Sharks well for a successful 2023 season. 


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