By ZAC MILBANK
SANFL’s Female Coaching Academy is going from strength-to-strength, with another 14 bright young mentors benefiting from the Class of 2021.
Now in its fourth year, the Academy this year linked in with the U17 Female Futures and SANFLW All-Stars programs as former Crows AFLW assistant Narelle Smith provided invaluable guidance those involved.
Speaking on SANFL Radio, Smith – who has now been appointed the new SANFLW coach for Woodville-West Torrens – said the Academy was important to provide up-and-coming female coaches with the confidence to learn, and build their own training and development programs.
Smith, along with North Adelaide’s Krissie Steen, is one of two female head SANFLW coaches but there are several assistants also involved, including North Adelaide’s Emma Sampson.
Sampson’s ongoing development is highlighted by her being included in this year’s BHP Women’s Coaching Academy, which has been announced as part of July being declared the AFL’s Women’s Coaching Month.
Aspiring SANFLW coach Carrie Mewett was involved with the SANFLW All-Stars component of the Academy, noting she had benefited greatly from mixing with her peers to develop coaching concepts and training plans.
Starting with the Angle Vale Under-15 girls team, Mewett has steadily progressed up the ranks at Angle Vale to coach at senior level while also gaining experience as an assistant with Woodville-West Torrens and Central District in the SANFLW.
Mewett paid tribute to the mentoring provided by Smith as well as SANFL State Coaching Manager Dave Reynolds for piloting the SANFL Female Coaching Academy.