New Tigers coach makes sea change for 2024 season

November 10, 2023 BY

New Torquay Football Club women's head coach Nicole Graves is excited to get preparations underway for season 2024. Photo: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT

TORQUAY Tigers have received a wealth of knowledge in the lead-up to next season, signing a former AFLW assistant coach and general manager to lead its senior women’s side in 2024.

Former Coolangatta head coach Nicole Graves will call Spring Creek Reserve home in 2024, bringing her extensive playing and coaching background with her to AFL Barwon’s Female Football competition.

“I spent 2020 and 2021 coaching Coolangatta in Queensland on the Gold Coast, so coaching coastal clubs is a bit of theme, but truthfully, I hadn’t been in the game so much the last few years – I had lost a bit of my passion due to COVID-19 and exhaustion from coaching, Graves said.

“One day I was on the socials and saw the role was available at Torquay, and after conversations with Cam Healy and Justin Calvert about the club and its vision, it was quite an easy decision for me.

“I’m really looking forward to taking on the role, I’ve had a number of good experiences in my first week here in the region already.

“I can’t wait to meet the playing group and supporting them in any way I can.

“Victoria is the hub of footy and I’ve picked another club where training nights may be dependable on whether the surf is up or not! I’m looking forward to it.”


Torquay female football operations manager Justin Calvert and incoming women’s head coach Nicole Graves at Spring Creek Reserve.


Graves boasts an illustrious career at both the playing and coaching level.

Graves has played close to 250 games and has been a part of five premierships as a player and six premierships, including as head coach at Swan Districts and Coolangatta-Tweed Heads.

Torquay women’s operations manager Justin Calvert could not believe his luck when former AFLW Western Bulldogs assistant coach and Carlton general manager Nicole Graves put forth her application for the women’s head coaching role.

“We’re extremely lucky to have had Nicole reach out,” Calvert said.

“Usually at the local level, you might expect a local coach or someone from the club to register interest in taking on a role like this, but we hit the jackpot on this occasion.

“We had some really great conversations and we’re excited to see where she takes the group in 2024.”

Torquay’s women’s side made the AFL Barwon Division 2 Grand Final in 2022 but struggled to find similar success with just two wins in 2023.

Graves will hope to reverse the side’s fortunes in 2024.

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