Trust, honesty and passion will underpin new mentor Wayne Siekman’s tenure at MANUNDA HAWKS as the club enters an exciting new phase of growth and opportunity in 2023. 

With more than two decades experience developing football talent, the Collingwood Magpies’ inaugural AFLW coach will serve as the club’s senior men’s coach and operations manager next season.  

And while the HAWKS finished bottom of the AFL Cairns ladder last year, Siekman is confident the club can make significant strides both on-and-off the field over the next 12 months. 

“Passing on the knowledge I’ve picked up over a long period of time excites me,” the 39-year-old said.  

“Being open and building really good relationships is important.

“At times you’re going to ask people to do things they may not want to do, and you’ve got to have that trust. You have to build that, and it takes time. 

“I want to pass on some structural things that can help us stay in games for longer and maybe win a few more.

“The other element is teaching the fundamentals of the game because if you don’t do the basics well you can’t advance.”

New Manunda Hawks coach Wayne Siekman (right) brings with him a wealth of experience, including guiding Vic Metro Under 18 women’s squad to a national championship in 2016. (Supplied) 

After kicking more than 100 goals for the Edith-Aspendale Eagles as a junior, Siekman’s promising footy career was cut short by chronic knee problems. 

“It’s called Osgood-Schlatter disease,” he said. “Basically, the bones in my knees were growing quicker than the rest of my body. 

“It meant I was restricted in how much I could do. I started to eat and not exercise as much because I couldn’t play.” 

Lured back to coach an under 9s team as a teenager, he found his true calling helping rising stars hone their craft under his watchful tutelage.

“It was funny because I still had to rely on mum and dad to drive me around,” Siekman said laughing. 

“So, I started properly coaching at 17 and worked my way up from there. 

“I really wanted to get a career path out of it.

“All up, it probably took me 18 years before I landed a full-time position and that was with Collingwood.” 

In between, Siekman plied his trade with the Dandenong Stingrays while also working with Victoria’s underage representative boys and girls’ teams. 

“I was able to do every single role when I was with the Stingrays,” he said. 

“I was a development coach, opposition coach, runner and senior assistant. It meant I was in a great position to take on other roles when they emerged.”

From left to right: Collingwood AFLW players Jaimee Lambert, Chloe Molloy, coach Wayne Siekman, Jasmine Garner and Christina Bernardi. (Supplied)

Following stints with Collingwood and Carlton’s AFLW programs, Siekman spent the last three seasons with SANFL club West Adelaide as football operations manager.

But the chance to stalk the sidelines again proved too tempting an opportunity to pass up.  

“The last couple of years I’ve definitely missed it,” Siekman said. 

“I coached my daughter’s under 14s team this year and loved it. We made a grand final which was so much fun and that’s why I got into coaching. 

“I love seeing people achieve as individuals and watching a team get better as a group.”

Incoming HAWKS president Andrew ‘Rocket’ Welsford said Siekman’s appointment was the first step towards sustained success for the club. 

“Wayne has a great footy background and has some excellent ideas that will help us grow,” Welsford said.

“He won’t be focussing just on the men’s senior list. It’s about looking at what he can do for our juniors and women’s programs as well. 

“I’m looking forward to going on this journey together as a whole club.”

Siekman will be joined at HAWKS by his wife, Cindy, daughter, Tegan, 13 and son, Ethan, 9.


Key dates for MANUNDA HAWKS 

Tuesday December 13 – First training session for men’s and women’s squads (Venue TBC)

Thursday December 15 – Team bonding session – (Cazalys Stadium)

Saturday December 17 – Team training session (Venue TBC) 

One Response

  1. You have done a great choice of appointing Wayne as your head coach he is 100% committed to the job and will give it he’s all he won’t leave anything unturned football is his life he is one of the best speakers and motivators that you will come across as a level 4 AFL coach he did his apprenticeship with some of the greatest players namely Simon Black, Andrew McLeod and Simon Goodwin current Melbourne Premiership coach. Coaching the Big V in the womens under 18 he won back to back championship and runner up in his first year . In his first year at Collingwood not only was he the coach he recruited all the players and all of these players are now are the backbones of their respective clubs he has a eye for talent. Wayne you are a superstar best of luck.

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