2018 VFLW Coaching Panel Announced

The Darebin Falcons 2018 VFLW Coaching Panel. L-R: Lisa Roper, Jane Lange, Melissa Hickey and Julia Chiera.

The Darebin Falcons 2018 VFLW Coaching Panel. From left: Lisa Roper – Assistant Coach, Jane Lange – Senior Coach, Melissa Hickey – playing Assistant Coach and Julia Chiera – Assistant Coach.


The Darebin Women’s Sports Club is proud to announce its 2018 VFLW coaching panel.

Reigning back-to-back VFLW Premiership Coach and 2017 AFL Victoria Female Coach of the Year, Jane Lange, is at the helm again in 2018 in the role of Senior Coach.

Lange, an eight-time Darebin premiership player and current assistant coach with Melbourne’s AFLW team, is looking forward to the season ahead.

“I’m very excited, Darebin has been a second home for me over the last 11 years so I’m glad to be here.

I’m excited about the challenges that lie ahead. Things will obviously be a little bit different this year given we’ll be playing against AFL clubs and coming up against them and the resources that they have. But we’ve got a great bunch of girls here, so I’m really looking forward to the year.” Lange said.

Supporting Lange in 2018 are assistant coaches Julia Chiera, Melissa Hickey and Lisa Roper.

Chiera, a three-time Darebin premiership player, former Club President and former coach of the Club’s Division 2 team, will be the VFLW defensive line coach.

Hickey, a current Melbourne AFLW player and Darebin Premiership player, will be a playing assistant coach in 2018, taking charge of the midfield group.

Roper, who has an extensive playing and coaching career in New South Wales, including premierships as both a coach and player, has relocated to Victoria and will take on the role of forwards coach.

Not only are the Falcons providing a complete football pathway from Auskick all the way to VFLW, but they are also providing development opportunities for women in key coaching and off-field roles.

“I think for a long time we’ve had people that want to stay around, they want to remain part of our organisation. I think it just says that we’ve created a place here where people come, they can be who they are, they can develop, they can extend themselves, they can challenge themselves, they learn and genuinely enjoy being around the people who make up this club.

It’s pleasing to know that, in terms of a playing group over the last five, six, seven years we’ve remained pretty consistent. Again that indicates that we’re doing something right here and we’re creating something that people want to be part of. Clearly to have those players then transition into a coaching group is very positive for our club.” Lange said.


Lange on Julia Chiera:

“Julia obviously has been around our club for a long time and I played alongside her in the VWFL competition. It’s a good challenge for her, but she’s dived in the deep end and is doing a really great job.”


Lange on Melissa Hickey:

“Melissa is keen to begin looking into her coaching career. It’s great to be able to give her an opportunity to do that. Her and I will probably work together through the midfield while she’s playing and dealing with the challenges of being a playing coach I can be there to support her. I think we’ll do a good job together, we work well together.”


Lange on Lisa Roper:

“Lisa is completely new so it will be nice to have a fresh face and a new perspective on things. Coming down from Sydney, she did a great job through the interview process and I’m really excited to see what she can do for our forward group.”


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