Brenton Toy appointed Manager of Talent

Brenton Toy in action with the Top End Storm

AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) is delighted to announce the appointment of Brenton Toy to the position of Manager of Talent.

A familiar identity in Territory footy, Toy was the standout applicant in a search that went Australia-wide. He impressed the interview panel with his understanding of the role, his views on the importance of collaboration and communication, and he also placed a high value on building and maintaining strong relationships.

When he commences in the role on 20 January, he will lead the team responsible for identifying and developing Northern Territory footballers, maximising their potential to play at the elite AFL and AFLW level. 

Also high on his agenda will be utilising the NT Thunder Academy program to conduct player development programs through AFLNT's urban and regional network and at the national level, while working closely with community football clubs and leagues to develop that talent.

With a tremendous passion for Territory footballers, Toy's involvement with NT football began as a player at St Mary’s Football Club as a junior. Since then he has acquired experience in junior development, administration and senior coaching roles at three NTFL clubs, including his most recent stint with the Tiwi Bombers in the NTFL and eight years’ across NT talent programs; four years as the NTIS Head Coach/State Academy Coach and four years as an assistant coach at that level. In 2012 Toy led the NT Under 18 State Academy team to a National Championship and received All Australian coaching honours.

His background skillset is extensive, covering junior participation, talent identification and competition, coach education, training and traineeships, remote programs, coaching and administration.  

Toy's most recent employment with the Department of Education has seen him lead a team of 25 staff who support students from 70 remote and very remote schools to transition to residential boarding facilities. This experience demonstrated to the interview panel his capacity to effectively lead teams and manage performance while maintaining a focus on obtaining results.

AFLNT CEO Stuart Totham said Toy brings a fresh, professional approach to the role along with diverse thinking and perspective to the AFLNT executive team, attributes that will ultimately help the organisation move towards achieving its goals.

“Brenton was the outstanding candidate throughout the recruitment process, a process that saw us look far and wide to find the best candidate not just for the role, but for our time. 

"Brenton demonstrated a clear understanding of what our expectation is in regards to the leadership and high standard of program governance required to be successful in the role. 

"We are currently going through some change at AFLNT; one of the significant changes is the resetting of our talent pathway. We are looking for someone to freshen up our approach and ensure that the new pathway, structure and programs are set up in a clear, sustainable fashion. Throughout the recruitment process, Brenton demonstrated a deep understanding of the football structure in the NT, a thorough grasp of the national programs as well as how AFL clubs operate, which will help get out talent closer to AFL clubs.  

"Brenton will bring the leadership and program governance expertise from his senior role in the Department of Education to AFLNT to ensure the pathway reset is a success. He also has a focus on building strong relationships right across the NT, so while the role is based in Darwin, we are confident the whole of the Territory will be well accounted for. 

"We are thrilled that Brenton has decided to join the team at AFLNT and make a positive contribution to the growth of the game. 

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Wally Gallio for the commitment and dedicated service he has shown our local talent over a long period. As Wally transitions into a new role, his contribution to NT footy continues. 

“Under Wally’s guidance, we are fortunate to have enlisted passionate and talented people who are heavily invested in the NT talent pathways. And under Brenton’s leadership and influence they will develop and thrive further, as they work together to execute our new strategy to improve the number of NT players on AFL and AFLW lists," he said. 

Toy said it’s an exciting time for himself and the NT football talent program. 

“I’ve always had a passion for coaching and get great satisfaction seeing young people provided with the opportunity to achieve their dreams. 

“As much as the program is about talent, there will be a focus on developing good people. I look forward to building on the incredible amount of work that has set the foundation for the talent program and welcome the new challenge with excitement and optimism,” he said. 

A current assistant coach with the Tiwi Bombers Football Club, Toy will relinquish that position to focus on his new role with AFLNT once he commences on 20 January 2020. 

Wally Gallio will move into the specialised role of Coaching and Innovation Manager in the community football department. The newly created position was formalised as part of the joint NT Government, Gold Coast SUNS and Melbourne football clubs talent and pathways announcement made in October. The role will provide long-term assistance for all local coaches across the Territory so that the skills and opportunities being offered by coaches are consistent no matter where the players are located.