Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Goulburn Valley coaches learn new approaches to female sport

Four Goulburn Valley-based coaches have learned about different approaches to take when dealing with female athletes ahead of this year's youth girls football season.

HANNAH DRISCOLL February 28, 2014 4:14am

Echuca premiership players Alyx Glanville and Alana Long both attended the first trial for the youth girls Victoria Country team last weekend.

Preparations for the upcoming youth girls football season continue apace with local coaches and organisers attending a workshop in Melbourne last weekend.

Notre Dame coach Brittany Tancred, Mooroopna co-coach Dean O’Hara and AFL Goulburn Murray’s Trevor Mellington all attended the seminar in Melbourne on Saturday, which covered topics like the differences in coaching female athletes and different approaches to take and culture and leadership.

They also had the opportunity to watch the VWFL and VFL academies train and learn about coaching style, different training techniques and drills.

There were several guest speakers, including AFL Victoria female development manager Chyloe Kurdas and Vic Spirit assistant coach Paul Montgomery.

Tancred said Montgomery’s talk was insightful.

‘‘There was a lot of good information you could take away and put into practice,’’ she said.

The first of three scheduled trials for the Victorian Country youth girls team was also held on Saturday with Echuca premiership players Alana Long, Alyx Glanville and Kelly Shotton all attending.

Kyabram’s Alex Mulcahy, who was a member of last year’s side, and Notre Dame’s Jade Tancred were both apologies.

O’Hara, who has taken over the coaching role with Tim Johnson and Scott Spencer, has a background more closely linked to soccer as he is an ex-Football Federation Australia class-one referee.

He has officiated matches in the Queensland state league and was also a referee development coach there, and he believes a lot of the skills he learned can cross over to AFL football, including fitness and spatial awareness, player and injury management, leadership and culture.

‘‘I’m a great believer that leadership and culture are on the same coin, just different sides of it, and if you have strong leadership you have a strong culture, so try to bring that philosophy to the team,’’ he said.

O’Hara said there were 16 girls training with Mooroopna at the moment and was impressed by what he had seen.

‘‘They’re a really good bunch of girls and what’s really impressive, of all the teams I’ve been involved in, I’ve never known a team to have a spirit these girls have,’’ he said.

‘‘They’re always encouraging each other, no putting anyone down or blame culture, it’s all about encouragement and developing each other, having fun and hopefully coming away with a grand final win.

‘‘But it’s also about them learning life skills about teamwork, about pushing their boundaries, of endurance, mental agility and also the big thing is having fun.’’

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