Big names selected for BHP Women's Coaching Academy

BRISBANE premiership stars Emma Zielke and Lauren Arnell, as well as Melbourne skipper Daisy Pearce, headline the inclusions for the 2022 BHP Women's Coaching Academy.

The 12-month program began this week, with the eight participants to complete their national AFL level three coaching accreditation course, as well as receive mentoring support from former St Kilda coach Peta Searle.

  • Lauren Arnell – Development coach/female head coach, Brisbane academy
  • Elise Coventry – AFLW development coach, Geelong
  • Courtney Cramey – AFLW assistant coach, Adelaide
  • Jacara Egan – Assistant coach U19 men’s/women’s, Calder Cannons
  • Pia Faletti – Rogers Cup head coach/League assistant coach, Subiaco FC women’s
  • Daisy Pearce – AFLW captain, Melbourne
  • Katherine Smith – GWS player; head coach premier women’s team, Macquarie University FC
  • Emma Zielke – AFLW assistant coach, Brisbane

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Six of the eight successful applicants are current or former AFLW players, demonstrating the wealth of football knowledge coming through the playing ranks.

"After three successful years of the BHP Women’s Coaching Academy where we have seen many women progress to more senior coaching positions, it is incredibly exciting to welcome a further eight talented and highly respected women to the 2022 program," AFL coaching development and education manager Julia Lawrence said.

"As more players come through the AFLW competition and seek to transition to off-field, we expect to see more women taking on coaching roles across men’s and women’s programs, which is incredibly pleasing.

"This year alone, we have seen a record number of applications for women’s coaching, and we will continue to work towards ensuring that coaching is viewed as a legitimate pathway for everyone involved in the game.

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"We remain absolutely committed to creating legitimate coaching pathways for women and through the Academy, we hope to see emerging talent develop their coaching and skillset to progress to coaching positions at the elite AFL and AFLW level.

"The AFL will continue to support initiatives that encourage and promote women to senior coaching positions, and we look forward to further supporting clubs in achieving this vision.

"As such, we are pleased to also announce that BHP, together with the AFL, has funded a further seven places for women to take part in a national Level 3 AFL Coaching Accreditation Course."

The seven additional applicants include three former AFLW players in Sally Riley (Adelaide/Gold Coast), Britt Tully (GWS) and Kate Tyndall (Western Bulldogs).

Searle and Hawthorn coach Bec Goddard will also work with this cohort over the eight-month program as "coach developers".

Brisbane AFLW assistant coach Emma Zielke. Picture: AFL Photos

2022 National AFL Level 3 Coaching Accreditation Course:

  • Jenna Allomes – Assistant coach, WA state academy
  • Colleen Gwynne – Development coach, Waratah FC/NT Thunder
  • Rebecca Randazzo – Head coach QAFLW, Coorparoo AFC
  • Sally Riley – Assistant coach, GWV Rebels
  • Amanda Robertson – Head coach (Colts), Claremont FC
  • Brittany Tully – Head coach, Ainslie FC
  • Kate Tyndall – VFLW coach, Darebin Falcons

Finally, due to a record number of applicants, a further 14 women were offered a place in a state-based level three course.

2022 State-based AFL Level 3 Coaching Accreditation Course:

  • Katika Adams – Men’s reserves coach, Coffs Harbour Breakers FC
  • Katie Dean – Senior line coach, Sydney University AFC
  • Kaitlin Dobing – Senior women’s assistant coach, Tuggeranong Valley FC
  • Hayley Gregory – Assistant coach, Hawthorn VFLW
  • Bronwyn Gulden – Assistant coach, QBE Sydney Academy
  • Kate Handley – Under-17s coach, Newcastle City AFC
  • Emma Kent – Assistant coach, Collingwood VFLW
  • Nadene McBride – Women’s senior coach, Singleton AFC
  • Beth McLaughlin – Development squad head coach, Bond University
  • Cherie O’Neil – VFLW coach, Hawthorn VFLW
  • Christina Polatajko – Assistant coach, Hawthorn VFLW
  • Allison Smith – Division Three coach, Newtown Breakaways
  • Kristie Whittard – Level two coach, Manly Bombers JFC
  • Kristen Woods – Assistant coach, Ainslie FC