Glenn Carey and Peter Altona appointed Eagles Coaches for 2022-23

Gungahlin Eagles President Eoghan O’Byrne has confirmed the club’s 1st Grade coaching duo for the next John I Dent Cup campaign will be club stalwart Glenn Carey as Head Coach, and accomplished NSW player and coach, Peter Altona as an Assistant Coach (Forwards).

Glenn is a 176 game player for the Eagles and won the 1999 1st Grade Best & Fairest, with a handful of premierships to boot, whilst Peter has an impressive international playing and coaching rugby resume having played for Melbourne Rising and Greater Sydney Rams in the NRC, and leading Gunnedah Rugby Club to a Club Championship as Director of Rugby.

Carey has been coaching in the Eagles ranks on-and-off since 2005, and most notably has coached 2nd Grade from 2015-2020, culminating in two premierships and a big contribution to two club championships.

As 1st Grade Assistant Coach for the last two seasons, Carey’s entertaining flair showcased by the backline saw the Eagles fall agonisingly short in the 2020 1st Grade Grand final, and also take out the Hitchock shield in 2021.

Given Glenn’s deeply engrained history with the club, he cannot understate the honour he feels with the appointment.

He says “Having been involved as a player and a coach at the Daramalan Rugby Club and Gungahlin Eagles for over 30 years, I’ve had the opportunity to  play with, coach and be coached by some of the absolute legends of this great club, and to now be given the opportunity to lead the Eagles into 2022 and beyond is an amazing honour”

“The focus for 2022 will be to continue to build on the strong foundations that have led to success across the grades in recent years, play an entertaining style of rugby that we can be proud of, maintain connection to our history and to the community that surrounds us”

“The players can expect a coaching staff and support group that will work as hard as they can to be the best rugby players they can be”

As far as inspiration for coaching goes, Carey has plenty to draw on.

“As a player I was lucky enough to be coached by some Eagles legends, guys who had played serious numbers of games for the club. Each style was quite different but primarily based on hard work, strong defence, good set-piece, attacking rugby, teamwork and pride in the jersey. These will be the backbone of my coaching style with the undertones of strong core skills across the board”

Carey isn’t shying away from high expectations in 2022 and beyond either.

“My goals for the 2022 season are to provide a rugby program that will cater for senior players of all ages, skill levels and aspirations. Putting teams on the park that are well prepared, highly skilled, and play an aggressive and entertaining style of rugby that will be competitive against all oppositions.

“My expectation is that all our teams will strive to finish in the top 4, and give ourselves the best opportunity to fight for the silverware.”

Peter Altona will be new to the Eagles and ACT Rugby landscape but will bring a wealth of expertise and coaching experience to complement our rugby program.

Peter has an accomplished playing career in England and France, and across Australia. From a high school rugby league convert, his experience spans from Australian Schoolboys to Blaydon, Bath and Worthing in the UK, and Stade Francais, France. He’s played in Sydney and Perth 1st Grade competitions, joined the Western Force Academy, and played for two clubs in the NRC.

Altona’s experience doesn’t stop at the 15-a-side game, he has played in England, Scotland, Ireland, Dubai, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, and right across Australia in Rugby 7s. Peter will also take the reins coaching all Eagles 7s programs and sees this as an amazing pathway for all aspiring players.

Peter is looking forward to joining a club with recent success across the grades and a young playing roster to help.

“I’m really excited to become a part of the Eagles. There is recent success here and I think the club has solid foundations to build on. I’ll be coming in just trying to get to know the players and volunteers first and foremost, and hopefully the restrictions ease soon so we can get into the preseason”

“The focus for me is getting the best out of all the Eagles players particularly at the set-piece. In every grade and the Women’s program, the aim will be to have the best scrum and lineout in each competition”

“I’m a laid back coach and I want to be able to prepare players to go out and believe in themselves to deliver on the field. I believe the standards and environment of the club is player-driven because once they’re on the pitch it’s up to them to deliver and that’s something I’ll help them with”

Having been around the world as a player, Altona has seen exactly what it takes to make a career out of rugby in both formats.

“I want to help any player that wants to progress their career, in 15s or 7s. There are now more pathways than ever for players and I see it as my job to help them capitalise on that, and also using transferrable skills between the two formats to enhance their career”

Whilst there is plenty for Peter to learn about the club, his goals are ambitious and he’s positive they’re achievable.

“For the season coming I think everyone will agree that the club is stronger on and off the field when every grade makes finals. 1st Grade know where they sit, I don’t need to tell them that they are aiming to break the premiership drought but it’s a goal of mine for sure and I’ll work with everyone to give us the best chance”

Club President Eoghan O’Byrne is confident that Carey and Altona will deliver a high-quality rugby program for the club, and says the whole Eagles community has plenty to look forward to.

“The club has undergone an extensive process to appoint the new coaching duo of the club. These are high quality people who we belive align perfectly with our values and our expectations”

“Everyone who knows Glenny will know just how committed to the club he is. His recent success and experience coaching with the club makes him the perfect man to run our rugby program, and the club will do everything possible to support him”

O’Byrne has full faith that the Eagles will welcome Peter Altona with open arms, to make his young family feel comfortable in Canberra and at Nicholls Enclosed.

“From the moment we met Peter we knew he’d be a great fit. He is well-spoken and has an amazing understanding of the game, and his experience as a player and coach speaks for itself”

“We have full belief in these two young coaches to get the best out of the entire playing group, maintain our focus on player welfare, and communicate effectively with the volunteers club stakeholders”

“We have a proud history of quality coaches at Gungahlin, and the Eagles family should have full faith in our new coaches for 2022 and beyond”

“The Eagles will be working in coming days to finalise appointments for various roles within the rugby program, and look forward to making these announcements soon”

“For now, please join me in congratulating Glenn and Peter as our head coach and assistant coach”

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