Essendon is thrilled to announce Cherie O’Neill as its VFLW Senior Coach for at least the 2024 season. 

O’Neill joins the club with a wealth of coaching experience spanning over a decade. 

Most recently, O’Neill held the position of VFLW Head Coach at Box Hill across the past two seasons, including leading the team to a finals berth in 2023. 

Before taking the reins at the Hawks, O’Neill has been heavily involved in the Bendigo Pioneers’ girls and boys’ underage programs, having performed the roles of head coach and as an assistant throughout her time at the club. 

O’Neill has also coached at State level, leading Vic Country’s Under-17 Girls team and as an assistant coach for the Under-19 Girls team throughout the 2021 National Championship. 

With the VFLW season set to start the weekend of March 23-24, O’Neill said she was looking forward to getting to work at the Bombers.

“I’m really keen to make a start with a good, young group. They’re a really exciting young, talented list, and I can’t wait to get stuck in,” O’Neill said. 

“An opportunity arose at the Bombers, with a great group of people and a young list so it was hard to say no.

“I think the squad is young, raw and new, which is so exciting. We can get to work to build the program, get around one another and develop an environment where people want to be.”

General Manager of AFLW Aysha Ward said the club was thrilled to acquire a coach of O’Neill’s calibre.

“We are excited to announce Cherie as our VFLW Senior Coach for the 2024 season. She’s got extensive coaching experience across various levels of football and has demonstrated how her coaching philosophy can bring the best out in players,” Ward said. 

“Cherie is a fantastic person who aligns with our values at Essendon, wanting to create the best environment for all to thrive. 

“We’re thrilled to attract someone of Cherie’s reputation and are excited by what she can bring to our program this year.”

Essendon will announce the full VFLW coaching group over the coming weeks.