Hills Hornets is proud to announce the Vawdon Cup Coaches for season 2020.

The Coaching Team this year has a new and exciting look with the addition of elite coaches to the Swarm.

Mixed Program – Relaunched

The most notable addition is Manu Wakely who has joined Hills Hornets Opens ranks after coaching the Hills U12Girls team at Southern Conference earlier in the year. Manu coached the NSW Mixed open team to victory at the 2018 State of Origin Series, and has coached the highly successful Rebels Mixed team at the National Touch League from 2010 to 2020. Now a Hills local, Manu will be Head Coach of Hills Hornets Mixed Opens.

Manu Wakely at JSC Southern Conference earlier this year.

Womens Program

Mel Mitchell, who led the Women’s Premier League Team as Co-Captain for the last 2 years, hangs up the boots and picks up the clipboard as Head Coach of the WPL Team. Mel has an impressive coaching resume including 2020 TFA Indigenous All Stars Head Coach, 2020 Australian U18Girls Assistant Coach, and 2019 NSW CHS Girls Open Head Coach. Assisting Mitchell will be Dave Nolan who needs no introduction in regard to his extensive coaching experience and knowledge.

The pair take over from Craig Beacroft who was instrumental in transforming this team from a fledgling Division 1 team into the Premier League Team it is today. Craig has been tasked with a new challenge – developing the next generation of Women’s Premier League players. Craig will take on the role as Assistant Coach of the Girls Youth Team, with Head Coach, Jo Lawson.

After guiding the Hills Under 18 Girls to the Grand Final at the 2020 Southern Conference, Monique “Rare Gift” Nolan continues her role as Division 1 Women’s Coach, providing the crucial bloodline into the Women’s Premier League Program.

Mens Program

After exceeding expectations in their inaugural year in the Premier League Division, the Men’s Premier League Team will be once again be led by Head Coach, Brad Curl with Matt Lawson as Assistant Coach.  The Coaching Team will be further strengthened with the addition of Phil McIlwraith as a 2nd Assistant Coach.

Matt Lawson will also continue his role as Division 1 Head Coach, guiding what is expected to be a young and talented cohort of players progressing from the Youth Boys division. Matt will be joined by Mark Jones who has had success at Hills with both the Boys U20 State Cup Team, and girls’ teams at Junior State Cup.

Mirroring the youth development focus in the womens’ program, Australian Representative and Men’s Premier League Captain, Brad “Mitch” Mitchell, has been appointed Head Coach of the Youth Boys Team. Mitch will be joined by Assistant Coach, Craig Egginton, as they team up for yet another Hornets campaign together.

The coaching team announced demonstrates Hills Hornets’ committment to providing an environment for players to maximise their potential. Players who would like to be a part of the Hill Hornets’ 2020 Vawdon Cup campaign should register their interest.  Trial dates will be announced shortly.

As well as player development, Hills Hornets aims to develop those who want to coach. If you have coaching aspirations and would like to learn from some of best coaches in Touch, please email: info@hillshornetstouch.com

Dave Nolan with the Hornets Vawdon Cup Coaching Team.

About Vawdon Cup

The Vawdon Cup is a weekly competition conducted throughout the Sydney Metropolitan area catering for Open & Youth divisions.

The competition typically commences in late August and finishes in late October.

Games are played on mix of Friday nights, and as Sunday double headers.

With the COVID-19 restrictions the competiton has been delayed for season 2020, but there is every intention to kick off the compettiton when restrictons are lifted.

Men’s Program

Men’s Premier League

Head Coach – Brad Curl
Assistant Coach – Phil McIlwraith
Assistant Coach – Matt Lawson

Men’s Division 1

Head Coach – Matt Lawson
Assistant Coach – Mark Jones

Men’s Division 2


Men’s Division 4


Boys Youth

Head Coach – Brad Mitchell
Assistant Coach – Craig Egginton

Women’s Program

Women’s Premier League

Head Coach – Mel Mitchell
Assistant Coach – Dave Nolan

Women’s Division 1

Head Coach – Monique Nolan
Assistant Coach – Jo Lawson

Women’s Division 2


Girls Youth

Head Coach – Jo Lawson
Assistant Coach – Craig Beacroft

Mixed Program

Mixed Opens

Head Coach – Manu Wakely