NCFL | Season Preview

THREE clubs have new senior coaches for the 2022 Goldacres North Central Football League’s senior footy action.

The latest appointment is Andy Nisbet to Charlton.

The Navies announced the recruitment of Nisbet on earlier this month.

A rookie to senior coaching, Nisbet will still have last season’s co-coaches Anthony Judd and Aaron Walklate in on-field roles.

Also joining Nisbet at Charlton will be Bailey Kemp from the Warrnambool region and full-back Matt Winsall returns to the club.

The Navies marked a 4-7 record before last season was called off under community sport COVID restrictions.

Charlton’s build-up to the 2022 campaign includes a practice match at home on March 26 against Mallee Eagles.

Key players for the Navies include Tom Finlay, a dual Barry Cossar medallist as club champion; young gun Patrick Soulsby, and Joe McGrath and Rhys Thompson in attack.

Ruckman Angus McKenzie has left the Navies to play for Mallee Eagles.

Charlton’s first game of a new season on Saturday, April 2 will be against Wedderburn at Charlton Park.


At St Arnaud, Torin Petrie takes charge as the club aims to improve on last season’s win-loss tally of 2-9.

Petrie’s playing career includes stints with the Bendigo Pioneers, Tiwi Bombers, and Strathfieldsaye Storm.

A star in Wycheproof-Narraport’s grand final wins in 2017 and ’18, Boe Bish takes on senior coaching of the Demons for a second time.

He had previously been joint coach with Ricky Allan.

In a remarkable career with the Demons, Bish has marked three premiership wins, including two as captain, and is a five-time winner of the club’s Geoff Fawcett Medal for club best and fairest.

Wycheproof-Narraport will be desperate to be far more competitive after just one victory in 2021.

A huge coup for the Demons was the recruitment of skilful wingman Koby Hommelhoff from Eaglehawk.

The Demons face St Arnaud at Wycheproof in the season’s opening round.

The league’s top four of last season have all re-appointed their senior coaches.


Joel Donnan will again lead Sea Lake Nandaly after the Tigers achieved an 8-1 record.

The Tigers’ sole loss in 2021 was on June 26 when Birchip Watchem scored a 67-58 victory at Sea Lake in the10th round.

A star-studded Sea Lake Nandaly line-up includes key forward Billy McInnes; Joel, Kane, Trent and Wade Donnan; Bryce Delmenico.

The Tigers will be without Kyle Brasser after his clearance to Tyntynder.

The Tigers meet Birchip Watchem in the season’s first round on April 2 at Birchip’s George Cartwright Oval.

Trevor Ryan is again in charge of a Birchip Watchem line-up that had a 9-2 record last year.

Key players for the Bulls include Daniel Castellano, Lachlan Foott and Will Sheahan in attack, ruckman Lachlan Ryan, Dale Hinkley and Brady Hore.

The Royals will be without Nathan Gordon who has crossed to Broadview in Adelaide.


Wedderburn has dropped the dual coaching roles as Sam Barnes is now the sole senior coach.

After a drawn in the first round of the 2021 season, Wedderburn went on for an 8-2 record.

Among the highs were the Feeny Medal win as the league’s fairest and best by ruckman Jordan Hargreaves.

A premiership player with  Wedderburn in 2014, Hargreaves first played with the Redbacks juniors and had stints with the Bendigo Pioneers and Bendigo Gold.

A powerful attack for the Redbacks last season included Will Holt, Tom Campbell, and Ben DeAraguo, 16 goals in his four-game comeback.


One of the most active on the recruiting front across summer was Donald which had appointed Rohan Brown as coach.

The Royals had a tally of five wins, four defeats, and a draw last season.

Newcomers to Donald include Ryan Hardes, a triple premiership player with Mildura Imperials, and clubmate Jordan Bates.

The Royals have also regained quality midfielder/onballer Brody Haddow after a successful run with South Bendigo, along with Shepparton United ruckman Shane Neaves.

Other key players for Donald are best and fairest winner Ross Young, forwards Brendan Goss and Seamus Young,

Donald will be on home turf for the round one clash with Boort.


The Boort Magpies re-appointed Andy Hawker as coach after a year in which the club had a 3-7 record and was far more competitive.

Beaten in rounds one and two of the 2021 campaign, Boort hit back to win its next two matches and by the end of round six had a three-three record and was fourth on the ladder.

Key players in the Magpies’ run included Cody Gunn and Braeden Deary in attack, Darcy Hawker, Keirin Wilson, Brodie Leonard-Shannon, Matt Chisari and Angus Trethowan.


A 16-round regular season will be followed by first semi-finals on August 20, second semi-finals on August 27, preliminary finals on September 3, and grand finals on September 10.

Bye weekends are April 15-18, Easter; May 14, junior hockey country championships; June 11, Queen’s Birthday long weekend; and July 2, school holidays.

North Central will not have an inter-league match this year.

The league’s awards presentation is planned for Wednesday, August 27 at Charlton.


Written by Nathan Dole.