Although every month is Women’s Coaching Month at Darebin, it has been great to see some valuable new coaching tools launched by AFL as part of their new initiative, marking July as Women’s Coaching Month.

Despite the AFLW bringing about a footy revolution for women and girls, coaching remains a very visible imbalance at all footy matches across the country, with no female coaches at the national level, and even within our state, only 25% of VFLW coaches.  In fact, at the launch Women’s Coaching month, the AFL report that women and girls make up only 6% of all AFL accredited coaches.

Julia Chiera

VFLW Assistant Coach

Roi Boutsikakis

VFLW Line Coach

Susan Cadman

VFLW Line Coach

Darebin Falcons are a complete standout club in terms of girls women appointed to coaching roles of our teams.  In addition, 3 Falcons- Jane Lange (Melbourne AFLW), Lisa Roper (Collingwood VFL, Fitzroy Stars, Vic Metro, Sandringham Dragons) and Natalie Wood (Western Bulldogs AFLW) have elite coaching appointments at other clubs, whilst playing in our Masters side, showing that the club is a wealth of resources in the current playing group. 

Darebin’s on-field leadership culture continues to be recognisable in AFLW competition leadership groups, and in coaching appointments of past players, such as Aasta O’Connor (AFL Women’s Academy) U19 All Australia Coach of the Year Mel Hickey (Vic Country), and Lauren Arnell (Brisbane Lions Academy).

When asked about coaches that inspired her, VFLW Line Coach Kate Tyndall names Darebin premiership coaches, Jane Lange and Peta Searle. 

“Both Peta and Jane have incredible knowledge of the game and create an environment which allows people to want to be their best, and contribute to a team first philosophy. I particularly admire the positive culture they developed and maintained during their time at the Darebin Falcons.”

Kate Tyndall

VFLW Line Coach

NFNL Division 1 Coach Elise Casamento also comments on the importance of coaching and leadership pathways.

“Any time we get to work with the VFL team is always a favourite of mine. Being able to listen to and watch JC, Caddy, Tyndall and Roi coach is always amazing. Having Jess Dal Pos around the team this year has also been incredible.  The way they communicate, have such a love of the game and sharing their knowledge, care for the players and the club is something I find really inspiring and want to do in my own coaching. They are all incredible women doing amazing things for the sport but also the club.”

Elise Casamento

NFNL Division 1 Coach

As well as past achievements, Darebin is committed to supporting the next generation of coaches.
“I became the Auskick coach this year which is so fun and I learned so much from. When the opportunity arose for me to help out with the Falcons Academy, I said yes straight away. I just saw it as another chance to learn more about coaching young girls, and opened my eyes to possibly coaching in the future as well.

My inspiration- definitely Aasta O’Connor, she’s taught me so much over the past couple of years.  I admire the way she asked us to set goals for each session so we had something to aim for. Also how she has coached at high levels including with Vic Country and the AFLW Academy, which shows that there is opportunities for women wanting to coach at the higher levels.”

Peppa Poultney

Auskick Coach

At Darebin, coaches are the heart of our club, and a key to providing a welcoming environment.  The coaches lead the development of our programs addressing individual and social needs of our AFL players.
“I was limited to being able to play footy at a young age. An opportunity came up to coach the under 14’s at the Falcs when I started playing for the Masters team. I have always loved being able encourage girls to play football because so often their sporting journey is turned towards a path that takes them away from sports that males traditionally have a stronghold on.

My coaching aim for this season was to help get the best out of each and every player, and help them become more confident in their own abilities on and off the field. We remind them that each player has an important role to play when part of a team. To focus on enjoying the process of football from skill development to fitness to game day strategies whilst remaining respectful and kind every step of the way.”

Nikki Clare

U16’s coach

By ensuring a good culture and providing the opportunities for girls and women to coach, the Falcons are advocating for leadership that shapes lives well beyond the sports field. 

The club welcomes these innovative resources to encourage girls and women to coach available on the Coach AFL website here.

Want to find out more about coaching?  Contact us.