SANFL has established the inaugural Female Coaching Development Program in a bid to boost the numbers of women coaching at elite level.
With the recent boom in female footballers, SANFL State Coaching Manager Dave Reynolds sought to introduce the program to arm the next wave of South Australian female coaches with the necessary resources, education and experience to develop their skills.
As a result, nine of SA’s bright young female football minds – each from a club in the SANFL Statewide Super Women’s League – have joined the year-long course to further themselves in the coaching sphere.
After each undergoing one-on-one meetings to determine their individual development plans, attendees joined Reynolds and SANFL Female Talent Manager Robbie Neill to watch Adelaide’s AFLW team train at Norwood Oval last week.
Having discussed what unfolded on the field as it happened, they then met with Adelaide’s AFLW coach Bec Goddard after the session to pick the brains of the 2017 AFLW Premiership Coach.
The group was also provided a behind-the-scenes gameday experience by the Crows, ahead of the clash with Carlton at The Parade on Saturday March 3.
“The session was designed to provide some practical advice and insight into how we coach and prepare the team,” Goddard said.
“Having pathways for female coaches, players and administrators is extremely important if they are to feature more prominently in football at all levels in the future.
“It’s great that SANFL has developed this program and we were pleased to be involved.”
Reynolds praised the access provided by Goddard and the Crows, with attendee Bek McMahon – Norwood’s 2017 premiership captain – also revealing the experience provided invaluable insight.
Attendees will also be involved with Neill and the SA U16 and U18 Girls Squads in May as well as Port Adelaide’s Female Academy training sessions in June and July.
Reynolds said he was passionate about increasing the number of female coaches, noting that there are currently only two at AFLW level – Bec Goddard (Adelaide) and Michelle Cowan (Fremantle) – and South Adelaide’s Krissie Steen in the SANFL Statewide Super Women’s League.
CHIEF SANFL WRITER