Female coaches set to benefit through mentor program

Australia’s female coaching fraternity are set to be the beneficiaries under a new mentoring program aimed at advanced coaches.

With funding from the FIFA Goal Project that was announced in August, the program is intended to help allow Australian women’s coaches and teams reach their full potential.

The Mentor Program is linked to achieving objectives stated within the 2014-2016 Women’s Football Strategic Plan.

The first step will occur next week when the 87 current advanced accredited coaches will have the opportunity to apply for one of six scholarships on offer.

“This is an important step in increasing the number of females coaches at all levels which is a strategic priority for FFA as was identified in our Women’s Football Strategic plan,” said Emma Highwood, FFA’s Head of Community and Women’s Football.

“We would like more females to coach at the highest level within Australia, which includes the Westfield W-League and the National Teams, but to achieve this we must put in place the support structure, to enable females to be identified and supported to reach their full potential. The Mentoring program is the first step to increasing the number of females coaching at levels within Australia.”

In addition to receiving financial support, the successful applicants will receive other benefits including access to high level training sessions, hands on support and guidance through a formalised mentorship program and the mentees will also be provided with coaching opportunities.

“Given the huge number of female players, it is very important to have female coaches to guide some of the female players,” said Eric Abrams, FFA’s National Technical Director. “One of the targets we have now is to encourage ex-players and Westfield Matildas to follow a coaching course. It is very important to have these players involved for many reasons, including as role-models.

“It would also be an advantage to have female coach educators to explain to our coaches what can be expected by young female players. To reach that point it is important to have a large number of female coaches enter the system. There are many advantages to further developing and encouraging female participation across all aspect of the game.”