Powell proud of his time with the Big V

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In three days time, the VAFA’s Big V will once again adorn Elsternwick Park. 

22 senior women, and 22 senior men will take to the field against the Perth Football League for the first time since 2019. 

Stuart Powell was the last man to coach the Big V. Between 2016 – 2019 he played a leading role in driving the Big V program. 

Leading into the return of representative football, Powell spoke to VAFA Media on the Saturday Warm-Up about the opportunity that he was presented with by Nigel Credlin during 2016.

“I was really honoured to be able to take on that role,” Powell said. 

“It was a wonderful program, to work with really good people and understand that all clubs are pretty similar, and understand that you’ve got good people involved at each of those clubs.” he continued. 

“It’s something I’m really proud of.” 

After being beaten by the SAAFL by 17 points in 2016, Powell set about changing the way he approached the representative game in 2017. Rather than setting up a gameplan in a short space of time, he opted to build camaraderie within the playing group, which paid dividends.

“Our first session (each year) was at the pub, we used to go to the Elgin Inn and normally get a guest speaker to come and speak about their experience.” Powell recalled.  

“George Burbury, Tom Paule, Josh Freezer (during my time) really drove this program and the influence they had in terms of getting the best players to play is a real credit to them.” 

Under Powell’s watch, the Big V went 2-2 including an 82-point win over AFL Vic Country in 2017, and a 50 point win over the SAAFL in Adelaide, in 2018. 

Powell stepped down at the conclusion of the 2019 loss to AFL Vic Country at Ikon Park. Handing the reigns to current St Kevin’s coach, Anthony Lynch. Due to COVID, representative football was put on the backburner. 

Now that it’s returned, 1493 days after the most recent game, Greg Hutchison, the former coach of Old Brighton is in the coaching chair. An appointment that Powell believes is a positive one, not just for the 22 selected players, but for all that are involved in the Big V.

“Hutchy is obviously a ripper, he’s been involved at the highest level of the sport and the side is definitely in good hands, I just wish all involved all the best.”