Generation next: New program revealed to fast-track women coaches

SIX WOMEN will be awarded a position in the AFL's new Women's Coach Acceleration Program, which aims to fast-track the next generation of female senior coaches.

The participants will be employed by an AFL club for a minimum of two years, and will take up a coaching role within either the AFL or AFLW program.

AFL clubs will apply to take on one of the participants for the duration of the program, which will also see a formal mentorship between the respective clubs' senior AFL coach and the participant.

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They will have direct access to the AFL program, including the coaches' box on match day, game planning sessions and match committee meetings.

Participants will also complete at least their Level 3 AFL Coaching Accreditation by the end of the period.

Funding for the roles will come from the clubs and the AFL, and will be outside the AFL program's soft cap.

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"The AFL remains committed to creating legitimate coaching pathways for women, and through this program, we look forward to witnessing the industry’s emerging coaching talent further develop their skillset to progress to senior coaching positions at the elite AFL and AFLW level," AFL EGM of football operations Andrew Dillon said. 

"Each successful member of the program will be appointed to an assistant, line, or development coaching position within their club’s AFL and/or AFLW program and have unfettered access to elite coaching settings and mentorship at their respective club. 

"We will also invest in a program at the AFL to provide support to the program recipients and ensure compliance to the program requirements."

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Successful applicants will be announced in March 2022 ahead of the Toyota AFL premiership season, and the program will be run by the newly formed Women's Senior Coach Acceleration Steering Committee:

  • Laura Kane, AFL GM competition management
  • Brad Scott, AFL GM football operations
  • Nicole Livingstone, AFL GM women's football
  • Julia Lawrence, AFL coaching development and education manager
  • Belinda Clark – former Australian women's cricket captain and founder of The Leadership Playground