There are also a lot of assistant coaches who are male ex-AFL players so they have come in from already being in the system and having that knowledge of AFL because they?ve played. ?That doesn?t necessarily make you a good coach just because you?ve played at the elite level, but at the same time some of the coaches I?ve worked with have been great.
We do have to remember that the coach has to be the right person for the job, male or female, but there is definitely the need to up skill more female coaches so that we can have more female coaches in the game.
We have to make the game our own, for us and run by us.
I think it’s not just about the female coaches in the AFL at the moment, it’s really about the coaches at grassroots level and the support they get – which from my experience I don?t think is there. ?The AFL has recently launched a new campaign called the ?Women?s Coaching Crusade? which is aimed at trying to increase the number of women coaches in the AFL through pathways and also two financial scholarships (one this year and one next year) to two current ALFW players. ?This will fund their attendance of the accreditation programmes as well as a study tour over in America.
It is fantastic for those two players who get selected, but in someways I am bit cynical about it because its a lot of money and funding; ?over two years we are only going to get two new female coaches out of that. ?And they are already technically in the system as players. ?I think we should be focussing on the female coaches who aren?t already in the system but are striving hard to try and get there at local level.
The way I see it, the funding that is being used for these two AFL players could be used to send a large number of current female coaches in community leagues to go and do there level 2 coaching accreditations or create an apprenticeship position with an AFLW team, like the one I was lucky enough to do at Carlton. ?That sort of thing would really fast track the women who are already coaching rather than waiting for the current crop of players to retire and become the coaches.
I think any push from the AFL to increase the number of female coaches to up skill themselves is good, but I think a lot more can be done certainly at grassroots level.