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Andrea Berni


Welcome to our Meet a Hawk corner, where we catch up with a member of the club to introduce them and to get to know them a little better. 


Director of Coaching

Recently I sat down with Andrea to ask him a few questions

LDP - Andrea, thank you for your time and welcome. It is a pleasure to have you join the Footscray Hawks as our new Director of Coaching. Firstly, whereabouts in Italy are you from? And when did you move to Melbourne?

AB - I grew up in Varese, in northern Italy, not far from Milan, and I moved to Melbourne 12 years ago. Varese is a city that is a vital hub for European basketball and also home to the Australian Institute of Sport European Training Centre.

LDP - How long have you been involved in Basketball?

AB – I have been involved in basketball for 34 years. My father and mother got me involved in basketball at six years old with Gianni Chiapparo, my junior basketball coach. When I stopped playing, my parents and two sisters encouraged me to take the Italian coaching course, and I have 26 years of coaching experience in Australia and Italy.

I am grateful to have been mentored by one of the best coaches in Italy (Dodo Rusconi), who played for Ignis Varese, the greatest team in Italy in the 1970s.

I made some great friends, including Andreas Brignoli, who played for Udine with Andrew Gaze in the 1990s.

LDP – Wow, 26 years as a coach; what have been some of your highlights?

AB – Coaching both in Australia and Italy has been excellent. One of my biggest highlights was receiving the Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2018 as coaching staff with the BIG V State Championship Men, Hawthorn Magic with Peter Godfrey. Also, being part of many successful programs has brought enjoyment, along with seeing the growth and development of my players.

LDP - With an extensive list of coaching experience, where are you coaching now?

AB – I am the head coach of the Under 18.1 boys at the Westgate Imperials.

LDP – Away from basketball, what else takes up your time?

AB – I have a certificate in Italian Journalism and am an Education Support staff member at Deer Park West Primary School. I enjoy travelling and spending time with my daughter Ginevra and my wife, Julie.

LDP – What are some of the highlights from your playing years?

AB – As a Junior, we won a State Championship at Robur Et Fides, Varese. In my senior years a Championship in 1st Division with Lavena Ponte Tresa, Italy, I was selected as the Development Player for the Men’s Team.

LDP – Well, Andrea, thanks for your time today. It has been great getting to know you. As I mentioned, we are very excited to have you and your knowledge with the club and look forward to an exciting future.

AB – Thanks, Luke; I am excited to join Footscray Hawks Basketball Club and share my basketball knowledge with the next generation of junior players.



Coaching Experience (Italy)

Under 23 Men

Under 16 boys

Under 14 boys


Coaching Experience (Australia)

Under 14 boys Winner of summer season domestic Championship  


2 X Under 20 boys Victorian Championship

U18 boys Metro 3 Runner up.

2x Under 16 boys coach Metro 2



2 x Assistant Coach Youth League 1 (2013-14)

Assistant Coach Division One Men (2015)

4 x Assistant coach SCM (2016-2019)


Westgate Imperials Basketball Association

Head Coach Under 18.1 boys (2021-present)

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