50-year-old Troy Mitchell joins Barwon Heads Football Club with a long and distinguished playing and coaching CV. Bred to play football with a famous uncle in legendary Footscray champion Charlie Sutton, who played 173 games and was Captain Coach of Footscray’s first ever Premiership in 1954 and also represented Victoria on 18 occasions. Sutton was tough, relentless and feared in his playing days and Troy demonstrated similar traits throughout his playing career at Spotswood, Williamstown, Werribee and Lara.
Troy was affectionately known as “Baked Bean Head” and in his first year of senior football in 1987 as an 18-year-old, tasted premiership success with Spotswood Football Club in the WRFL. Another strong season in 1988 led to an invitation to join VFL club Williamstown in 1989 where he played the year in their Reserves side. In 1990 Troy was promoted to the Williamstown Senior side under the legendary Barry Round and not only did he win his first of three Best and Fairest awards (1990, 1992, 1994) but was a member of that famous 1990 Premiership side that won the flag after trailing by 7 goals in the last quarter. From Williamstown, he started moving down the Geelong highway by playing for Werribee in 1995 and 1996 before joining Lara as Captain / Coach for 5 seasons (1997 – 2001). Lara was a strong club and lost the 2000 Grand Final to North Shore before Troy played in Lara’s 2002 Premiership against St Josephs.
The regard that Troy was held was reflected in his appointment as the GFL Representative Coach between 2002 – 2005 and the GFL won 2 Victorian Country Championships and was runner up another year. Troy’s next coaching challenge was with Geelong College in the strong APS Competition between 2011 – 2015. Troy had coached junior sides with St Mary’s where his boys played before he was asked to coach their Senior side in 2016 – 2017 and they improved dramatically to make consecutive Grand Finals.
When Troy was quizzed about his first impressions of Barwon Heads Football Club he responded
“Everyone I have had the chance to meet and be involved with have been very helpful and you sense their commitment. The club is fortunate that the people involved have done a terrific job and hopefully myself and some of the new people now involved can help the club to achieve its ultimate goals. I want the club to both improve and progress – to stay successful and be an enjoyable environment for all involved.“
Pre-season commenced on Monday 19th November with 13 sessions planned before Christmas. Both Troy and his co-coach Mitch Herbison are hoping to achieve ‘a strong understanding of the playing group both as a unit and individually. It is an opportunity to start to make a connection and see what the strengths and weaknesses of the group and the player. It is also a time for us to feel out and understand how the other coaches and support staff work and operate.’
As we waxed lyrically about the town of Barwon Heads, Troy added “I am very excited about being part of the town and community. Barwon Heads is a unique place and the football club has a strong sense of community and passion to succeed. In my short time, I can already feel a strong sense of desire to be successful and maintain a competitive edge over our rivals. It is an exciting time but also a challenging time which I am looking forward to.”
Bring on 2019!!