AFL Gippsland has begun presenting it’s Female Coaching Academy on June 4 (yesterday) at Drouin Recreation Reserve.

It will transition to the Morwell Recreation Reserve and Gippsland Power’s ‘Centre of Excellence’ facilities to accommodate the growth of female coaching in football across the region.

Led by AFL Gippsland Coaching Developer, Bianca Helmuth-Pask, and facilitated by Gippsland Power Girls coach, Nathan Boyd, 14 successful applicants will be provided with incomparable assistance to kick along their passions for coaching.

The academy offers wishful female football coaches developmental sessions through a range of assets that are at AFL Gippsland’s fingertips.

“The idea with the coaching academy is to help them find their confidence because they all have that skill just as much as anyone else and it’s just a matter of being given that opportunity and network together (to) be able to just to really have confidence to be able to go ahead and move forward in their coaching journey,” Helmuth-Pask said.

Academy applicants range from all levels and experiences, whether that be coaching at their local football clubs, junior clubs, school sides or this even being their introduction to the coaching ranks.

“We’ve got a real cross-section of experiences and roles across clubs. Some are assistant coaches, some are coaches in their own right and some aren’t coaches yet, but we think that this a really good way to get them to learn to work with different people at different stages of their coaching journey,” AFL Gippsland Regional Manager, Tim Cotter said.

Opportunities will also be available for these talented and desired individuals to attend and participate in Gippsland Power training sessions during these sessions to gain hands-on experience in a regional professional environment that can lend to developing their coaching abilities at community-level.

This lends to securing invaluable knowledge within a hub which has access to the best coaching cohort in football across the region.

“They’ll come and have a look, spend some time with the coaches (and) get some ideas to accelerate their coaching journey,” Gippsland Power assistant coach and AFL Gippsland Coach Developer, Allan Chandler said.

To go along with that, their final session will consist of a game-day experience as they follow the lead of the Gippsland Power coaching staff during their match against Dandenong Stingrays at home.

The academy participants will be in the rooms for the full pre-game briefing, be involved in the coaching huddles during the quarter time breaks, be in the box alongside the Power coaches during action, and sit through match de-briefs and game analysis with the coaches.

All these practical and brain-storming opportunities mirror the framework set by ‘CoachAFL’ which surrounds the developmental pathway for coaches following, in order, the creation of a coaching philosophy and vision, building relationships and shaping the environment of a team, coaching at training and during a game, and holding for personal reflection on their own learnings and performance.

As a special treat on completion, the academy coaches will get to visit the Melbourne Demons AFLW side for a game at Casey Fields and mingle with the AFL South-East participants of their female coaching academy.

Ongoing mentoring will be provided by the Coaching Developers program as these learning coaches make their way through the ranks, as well with further opportunities being materialised for women’s football in Gippsland.

AFL Gippsland is working on a girls exhibition match after the under 13’s and under 15’s All-Star weekend in June where academy participants can get extra reps with some of the best young women’s players going around.

“They can start to visualise what they want to do and how do we open those doors for them,” Helmuth-Pask said.