For the first time in Australian Football history, there will be an equal representation of men and women coaches across the NAB AFL and AFLW Academy programs.
GIANTS' AFLW Captain Alicia Eva will return to the program for a second year to work alongside Jason Davenport and Tony Bamford in the AFL boys' Academy.
Daisy Pearce (Melbourne AFLW Captain) and Jacara Egan will join West Australian Under 18's head coach Beau McDonald as AFLW Academy Assistants.
In addition to the formal Coach AFL accreditation program, the AFL women’s coaching pathway continues to grow, with three specific coaching programs available for women and girls across the country, including the AFL Women’s Coaching Acceleration Program, BHP Women’s Coaching Academy and National She Can Coach program, presented by BHP.
In addition to her 45 games of elite women’s football, GIANTS Captain Alicia Eva works part-time as a Development Coach in the GIANTS AFL program, looking after the Backline for the VFL side.
A highly regarded coach within the industry, Eva was awarded the AFL Coaches Association coaching pathway scholarship in 2019 that saw her receive mentoring by AFL premiership coach John Worsfold and inclusion in the ‘Next Coach’ program run by renowned coaching guru David Wheadon.
“I’m extremely passionate about coaching and the role it plays in developing the next generation of AFL and AFLW footballers," Eva Said.
"It’s important that we continue to invest time and resources into coaching programs for females to ensure that women and girls are no strangers to coaching in the future,”
In 2021, there were 2,061 women in coaching positions across all levels of the game, representing eight per cent of all accredited coaches nationally and a two per cent increase in female coaches compared to 2020.
AFL Executive General Manager Football Operations, Legal and Integrity Andrew Dillon said the coaching appointments is a positive step forward to encouraging more women and girls to get involved in coaching.
“The AFL is committed to investing in the female coaching pathway and providing more opportunities for female coaches to develop their skills and experience in coaching across all levels of our game,” Mr. Dillon said.
“It’s really exciting to have a good blend of high-quality men and women coaching across our National Academy programs who provide different perspectives and expertise to support the development of the next generation of AFL and AFLW players.
“We are thrilled to have Daisy, Alicia and Jacara part of our NAB AFL and AFLW National Academy programs and look forward to continuing to build on the work we have done to ensure we have stronger representation of women coaches throughout our industry.”
AFL Coaching Development & Education Manager, Julia Lawrence said the appointments showcase the progression of the female coaching pathway.
“Having women and girl coaches involved in Australian Football at all levels provides a huge benefit to our game both on and off the field. There are a range of opportunities for women and girls to get involved in coaching, so there’s never been a better time for women and girls to give it a go.”