Panthers appoint women’s coach

By Jackson Russell

Wallan Panthers have appointed Carey Paps as head coach of its women’s Big V for 2020 after former coach Warren Taylor’s decision to step down.

Paps’ appointment comes after coaching the Panthers’ men for the past two seasons including a finals appearance in 2019.

President Gary O’Brien said it was important to keep the culture Taylor built in his five years at the helm.

“For us, we’ve got two legends and one of them retired. When we thought about what Warren’s done for the women’s program, it was really important that we try to keep that cultural element and keep that bond between the girls,” he said.

“When you think about Carey, he’s won titles with women’s teams before and knows the girls from coaching them at other clubs before.

“There’s a real cultural fit from going from Warren to Carey so it’s an easier transition.”

Carey said he was considering stepping down from the men’s coaching role until he was approached about taking the reins for the women’s team.

“I’ve had a good response and the majority of the players are going to come back so that’s been positive,” he said.

“It’s not like I’m going into a role where I haven’t coached women before, I coached women for 17 years before going into a men’s role so I know what I’m getting myself into.

“I’ve coached Carly Simons at Keilor and Rebecca Romeo in an all-star game so it makes the transition a bit easier.

“We’ve got a good bunch of girls and it looks like they have a good team spirit, which is really good and the credit for that goes to Warren.”

O’Brien paid tribute to Taylor for his time coaching the women’s team since it entered the Big V.

“This guy is a legend of Big V, he won championships at Hume and came in and built our women’s team from the ground up,” he said.

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