Meet Blackfriars Old Scholars Football Club’s A Grade coach, Mike Cini

There’s a new top dog – or, more appropriately, top Hound – at Blackfriars Old Scholars Football Club.

Ahead of the 2024 season, Mike Cini has been appointed A Grade coach of The Hounds. And one of the items on his to-do list is to strengthen the club’s relationship with Blackfriars.

“I’m really excited to be working with the school,” said Mr Cini, who has plans to run joint training sessions for The Hounds and Blackfriars 1st XVIII, as well as coordinated presentation nights and some co-coaching.

“Being an ex-private school boy who played for old scholars, I know how great it can be for everyone involved. When I moved from (SANFL sides) Norwood and West Adelaide, I went straight to the old scholars team.

“I want to make us (BOSFC) the team of choice for Blackfriars old scholars. They’re going to be playing footy and they’re going to be playing with their mates.”

Blackfriars Old Scholars Football Club’s new A Grade coach Mike Cini with 2024 signing Bradley Tudorovic.

Mr Cini has been coaching football for almost two decades, starting with Gaza Sports and Community Club in 2007, when he took charge of his son’s junior team. Over time, he moved up to coaching the under-18s, under former Port Adelaide player Darren Mead.

The self-confessed footy tragic has also had stints at Fitzroy, alongside current BOSFC President Dave Nelson, and at Modbury. In 2023, he was the A Grade assistant coach at Gaza.

The Hounds A Grade side finished 8th in Division 5 in 2023. Mr Cini said while his more recent coaching career had been predominantly with Division 1-3 clubs, the decision to move to BOSFC was not a difficult one.

“Michael Cronin (BPS’09), I coached him at Fitzroy and he’s been begging me for years to come to Blackfriars,” he said.

“Then I ran into a former coach, Nathan Grainger, and he said, ‘You really need to go to Blackfriars, they will really benefit from having you there’. And he was right.

“The group is really … willing to learn. They’re bringing that passion for the game.”

Matt Brincat (BPS’06) was The Hounds 2023 A Grade Best and Fairest.

Meanwhile, Paul Niven has been appointed The Hounds’ A Grade assistant coach. Mr Niven has been coaching since 1999 at clubs including Hope Valley, Flinders University, Walkerville and Athelstone.

He has also coached women’s football at West Adelaide and West Croydon. In 2023, he was at Gaza.

BOSFC said it was “thrilled” with the coaching appointments.

“Mike and Paul come to us with a wealth of coaching and playing experience, a passion for football and a history of developing players.”


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