Kimball to coach Northern Women’s Team for Country Championships

Energetic Ethan Kimball,  senior coach of the Central Broken Hill Magpies Football Club’s women’s program, has also been assigned the task as the head coach of the Northern Zone Women’s team.

This year being held in the picturesque Barossa Valley towns of Nuriootpa and Angaston, the South Australian Country Football Championships will be held across Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

A teacher at the Silver City’s Willyama High School educating students in visual arts and photography, Kimball has now been a part of the Central Magpies BHFL women’s A-grade for three seasons.

“This is my third year with the Central Magpies Women’s team,” Kimball confirmed to

“In 2021, I was an assistant to Sheldon Hall and James Moran.

“Unfortunately, due to a number of issues including Covid, while we were travelling well, it was an uncompleted season.

“Both (2022 Northern Zone player) Aaron Jory and I coached the Magpies’ girls last year.

“It was a pretty good campaign, culminating in defeating South Broken Hill by 20 points on Grand Final day.

“This year, with Luke Barnes as my assistant, I have the senior job again.

“We are sitting second on the ladder currently.”

The Northern Zone side, which has always included a strong Broken Hill contingent, won the 2021 Country Championships title in Victor Harbor and has competed each year since the women’s SA Country titles started in 2018 at Renmark.

At the 2022 event in Whyalla, the Northern Zone slumped to sixth and the bottom of the ladder.

“I was runner at the Zone champs last year, so it gave me some idea of what to expect,” Kimball continued.

“We’re looking to implement a few more structures to make us competitive at Zone Level again this tournament.

“I like to have an attacking game style, and that makes for a better spectacle as well.

“Having an attacking and positive brand gives people like our forward Nicky Phillips an opportunity to show their flair.

“We have been training as a group for a month and are looking for a strong showing.”

“I like to have an attacking game style, and that makes for a better spectacle as well.''

Northern Women's Zone Coach Ethan Kimball

Kimball’s playing days have been put on the back burner, since an ACL injury in 2019.

Now 26-years-old, Kimball started his football with the Albury Tigers as a junior.

“I moved to the Tallangatta and District Football League, playing for the Dederang–Mount Beauty Bombers first senior footy,” he said.

“I was lucky enough to be playing A-grade football as a 16-year-old alongside AFL footballers Daniel, and his brother Darren, Bradshaw with the Bombers.

“Both were talents and kicked upwards of 100 goals in the competition at different times.

“Doing my University studies in Wollongong, I played senior footy in premier’s division for three years with the Wollongong Bulldogs.

“We did endure a heart-breaking Grand final loss to Wollongong Lions by one-point in 2016 with my now Central Broken Hill Magpies team-mate Sam Wilson playing for them.

“He still reminds me about that Grand Final!

“While I injured my ACL in 2019, and haven’t played footy since, I’ve still been able to play cricket and ride my bike.

“My operation is booked in for next February and I will consider a return to the playing field after my recovery.

“The best case scenario would be to return at the start of 2025.”

Kimball is also the mentor of the Broken Hill women’s representative team which plays its annual clash against the Sunrasyia League on Saturday, July 1 at Jubilee Oval.

“I expect a large contingent of the Broken Hill team to be in the Zone squad as this competition has been going for over a decade.

“The talent in Broken Hill is pretty strong, due to the breadth of experience they have in a competitive local competition.”

Kimball is keen to jump on to the same pedestal as Sheldon Hall and Anthony Tidball, being a SA Country Championships title-winning coach this year, but he knows there is still plenty of work to do, and like with all winning teams, a little luck will be handy.

The Northern Zone includes Broken Hill, Far North, Northern Areas, Spencer Gulf and the Whyalla Football Leagues.

Both Central District SANFLW premiership player Shelby Raven in 2023 and North Adelaide ruck Meg Ryan, who was a part of last year’s Roosters triumph, played in the Broken Hill Women’s competition, and both played in Zone Championships.

Ryan has since gone on to play AFLW with the Essendon Bombers.

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