SANFL establishes Community Female Coaching Academy


SANFL’s desire to develop female coaches is set to strengthen with the introduction of a Community Female Coaching Academy in 2024.

Following the success of the Female Coaching Academy in place for SANFL clubs since 2018, the concept will now extend to South Australian football’s grassroots.

Ten female community coaches from across the State have been selected to participate in the Academy, which will run from its induction night on February 13 through to the end of October this year.

AFLW experienced pair Emma Sampson and Courtney Cramey will provide one-on-one mentoring to the coaches, who will be tasked with completing the AFL’s Level 2 Coaching Accreditation together with forming a personal coaching development plan for 2024.

Fellow Academy members will have the opportunity to connect with each other throughout the season while all inductees will also have the opportunity to learn from a SANFLW or AFLW game day and training experience.

Sampson, who previously played with North Adelaide in the SANFLW, is one of SA’s great success stories having begun her coaching journey with the Roosters through SANFL’s original Female Coaching Academy before progressing to a role as an Adelaide AFLW assistant for the past three seasons.

“It’s really important developing Women's coaches are being mentored by other women as coaching role models.''

SANFL State Coaching Manager Dave Reynolds

“It’s really important that developing female coaches are being mentored by other women as coaching role models,” SANFL State Coaching Manager Dave Reynolds said.

”Both Emma and Courtney are exceptional coaches with a sharp focus on development. Emma has completed the cycle from an academy member to now developing the next group of Women’s coaches in this academy while also mentoring the SA U16 girls coaches.

”Courtney is extremely passionate about developing female coaches and has great experience mentoring female coaches through the Crows’ academies.”

Together with Sampson, past graduates from SANFL’s Female Coaching Academy have included senior SANFLW mentor Lexi Edwards (Glenelg) as well as SA U16 Girls coach Bek McMahon.

”The SANFL Female Coaching Academy supported SANFL clubs to create a Women’s coach recruitment pathway for SANFLW players to learn the craft of coaching in the youth girls programs,” Reynolds said.

”Six years ago, in the Academy’s first year, there was only eight women in coaching roles across all eight SANFL clubs. In 2023, that grew to 80 and we hope to have in excess of 300 female coaches registered across the State in 2024.”

Reynolds said the ten successful applicants for the Academy were selected on a range of criteria, including previous coaching experience and a desire to develop their coaching careers.

SANFL Community Female Coaching Academy mentors Courtney Cramey (left) and Emma Sampson (right) with SANFL State Coaching Manager Dave Reynolds (centre). Picture – Peter Argent

2024 SANFL Community Female Coaching Academy Members

Coach Community Club
Jaymie Hammond North Haven
Brooke Faulds Kilburn
Fiona Young North Gambier
Jaimee Millard Victor Harbor
Monique Hepden Christies Beach
Hannah Dreckow Hahndorf
Sarah Niemann Happy Valley
Megan Petersen Renmark
Mel Ruchs Freeling
Catherine Warren Aldinga
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