Hervey Bay’s Dean Backwell will coach the Maryborough Bears under-15 side this season.
Hervey Bay’s Dean Backwell will coach the Maryborough Bears under-15 side this season. Carlie Walker

Dean shares his love of AFL

BEING a regional AFL development officer and playing A grade for the Maryborough Bears in the AFL Wide Bay competition isn't enough for Dean Backwell.

He will also coach the under-15 side for the Bears this season, proving he just can't get enough of the game he loves.

He said he was looking forward to working with the team and building a competitive side.

Backwell spends most of his days traversing the Wide Bay district, holding clinics and attending carnivals in Maryborough, Hervey Bay, Bundaberg and throughout the Burnett.

Yesterday he was at Xavier Catholic College for a clinic before heading to Bundaberg to be an umpire at a carnival.

He says the job is full on but he wouldn't have it any other way.

Backwell sees a lot of potential in a variety of different areas throughout the Fraser Coast and Wide Bay.

He was particularly excited about developing talent in the outlying areas of the Burnett and in league-dominated schools in Maryborough.

Backwell, whose dad Owen Backwell was named in Queensland's team of the century for the sport, said he has always taken to heart the philosophy that if you get a lot out of the game, it's good to give a lot back.

The under-15 coaching position is far from Backwell's first foray into the job.

He was the first grade coach at the Bay Power a few years ago, aged 23.

Backwell has also coached an under-17 side in the past and says coaching has helped him learn a lot about Aussie rules and given him a lot of enjoyment.

"Just seeing the players learn different things and evolve is great," he said.

The Fraser Coast AFL juniors will host a stall at the PCYC super sign-on tomorrow from 10am.

The Brisbane Lions mascot Bernie Vegas will be there and the first 50 children to sign up will receive a Lion's flag.



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