14 Apr new corio coach set to impress
There is a great deal of enthusiasm and expectation at the Corio football club this year and a young man driving that optimism is their new co coach Joel Bennett. He will partner with his father and club legend Darren, to drive a new positive era for the Devils.
Joel started his career in Corio Midgets Little League as a 6 year old before a lack of available teams forced a stint at North Shore in the Under 10 and 12 teams. He returned to the Devils to complete his junior footy, before a stint with the Geelong Falcons in 2015-16 yielded 35 games and plenty of future promise. An invitation to the Geelong VFL Development Squad and connection to the Geelong West Giants GFL team saw his senior football reputation rapidly rise. He won the B & F at the club in 2017 and despite mixing his season with the Werribee VFL team, his 9 games was good enough to collect back to back awards. He managed a full year of VFL football in 2019, but after sharing his father’s frustrations each weekend as the Devils struggled through a tough season, Joel committed to return to his former club and assist in getting the team back into a strong respected outfit.
The club has worked hard to attract more talent into the group and with Joel actively working on recruiting with his dad and younger brother Toby, a stream of youngsters have put up their hand to join the team at Viva Energy Oval. The enthusiasm has spread throughout the club as the netball girls have also injected more talent and the codes are feeding off each other as the opening round approaches.
One of the recruits is the not so young 1992 Neville Whitley Medallist Mark Stewart, who continues to defy age and will carry the ruck duties through the season. His strength and experience will be a valuable asset to the Devils younger players and also the father son coaching combination.
Joel will be getting his hands dirty in his new role, lining up for the important inside midfield role and will certainly be one of the competitions prominent players. The team will have a completely different look in 2021 with as many as 12 new faces potentially lining up in this week’s Indigenous Game clash with Belmont Lions.
More will be known at 5.00 on Sunday night, but this enthusiastic group of young men are determined to make a difference this season and while finals are certainly not an expectation, no team will want to take their outing with Corio lightly.