NEW COACHING STRUCTURE ANNOUNCED DURING PRE-SEASON
We were excited to put together a new and expanded coaching structure for season 2020, with the aim to take our seniors and reserves deep into Premier A, and to continue to resource and develop our thirds team.
After three very successful seasons as our women’s reserves coach, we were delighted announce the appointment of Simon Brownhill as our Women’s Seniors Coach for season 2020. Simon has led the Reserves from the team’s first year in a development division (2017) into a Premier B Preliminary Final (2018) and Premier A Preliminary Final (2019). Patrick Murphy accepted a newly created role as our Senior Women’s Assistant Coach for Season 2020. Pat is a great St Mary’s person with a strong football background as a past St Mary’s senior player. He is also a successful coach of women’s football.
Our 2018 Women’s Reserves Captain, Eliza Tivendale was appointed as our Women’s Reserves Coach for season 2020. We are totally committed to providing pathways for our women’s players into coaching, and Tiv has all of the attributes to be a very successful coach. Damian Sutherland announced that he was stepping back from the senior coaching role after three wonderful years, and we were delighted that he was keen to continue to play a role as our Women’s Reserves Assistant Coach in 2020.
Caleb Hounihan was appointed as our Women’s Thirds Coach for season 2020. Caleb has a great football background as both coach and player, and a a strong coaching background in women’s sport.
Iain Weinzierl took on the newly created role of Technical Director, to take full advantage of his deep football knowledge. Iain was to work with Simon to define our football brand and the game style that we believed would take us deep into Premier A.
Paul Grant would continue in a specialist role around skills and rules, and work across all three sides.
Nathan Cole came on board as our Strength and Conditioning Coach and Head of our Sports Trainers Group.
AN OFFICIAL WOMEN’S THIRDS COMPETITION IN 2020
All of the hard-work that we had put into developing our thirds team over the past two seasons was rewarded when the VAFA confirmed that it was pursuing an official women’s thirds competition in 2020. With the appointment of our new Women’s Thirds Coach, Caleb Hounihan, and an influx of new players, season 2020 was shaping as an exciting one for our women’s thirds.
PRE-SEASON TRAINING AND AN INFLUX OF NEW PLAYERS
Pre-season training commenced on Wednesday November 20 2019 at Wattle Park and ran one night a week up until Wednesday December 18.
We used this time to set a base fitness measurement for each player using a 2km time trial and a Yo-Yo Test. By the Christmas break we had 47 players with a base measurement for the Yo-Yo Test and 25 players with a base measurement for the 2km run.
Pre-season training recommenced on Monday February 3, and ran two nights a week up until our final session on Monday March 16. The VAFA advised all clubs on Tuesday March 17 that in light of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 the commencement of the 2020 season was postponed until May 2. All our practice matches were cancelled, and training was suspended until further notice. The VAFA made a further announcement on Monday March 23 that the season was to be postponed until May 31.
Over the course of pre-season training we welcomed 41 new players to the club, all of whom were training regularly and were looking forward to playing their 1st games for the club in Season 2020.
SMALL GROUP TRAINING
Small group training recommenced on Monday June 1, with strict protocols around health and safety, hygiene and social distancing measures. In short training was to be in small groups of 10 with a maximum of two groups running at the same time on the oval. Training was to be non-contact with strictly no physical contact between players (ie no tackling, no bumping, no marking contests).
We were able to run small group sessions on Mondays and Saturdays at Ferndale Park and Thursdays at Burwood Reserve. In week 1 we had over 75 women returning to small group training, and over 90 women participated over the six weeks of small group training.
As a part of the Return to Training Protocols, a club-nominated COVID-19 Safety Officer was required to attend every training session to ensure that the club adheres to the Return to Small Outdoor Group Training Protocols. All COVID Safety Officers were required to complete the Department of Health COVID-19 Infection Control Training and be registered and accredited with the VAFA. Our three COVID Safety Officers were Penny Heath, Jas Cannizzo and Liv Giblin.
WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP PROGRAM
As a part of the time2talk Leadership sponsorship of SMS women’s football, three of our players were awarded professional leadership workshops at the 2019 Season Launch.
Fi Murphy, Rachel Gill and Eliza Tivendale attended the Emerging Leaders – Kickstart to Leadership training session in their roles as players, leaders and coaches at St Mary’s Salesian.
The session aimed to increase their awareness of their own leadership styles and identified ways to be more adaptable to other people’s individual styles. Learning techniques for identifying the most appropriate style of communication and for coaching team members of varying skill levels. These valuable learnings can be translated into work, roles at the football club and in every day life.
“Excited to be involved with a sporting club with such a great culture and a strong focus on leadership. So proud to be supporting our future leaders in both their sporting and professional lives. Very happy to hear the girls enjoyed the workshop and took away some practical learnings.” Sharon Kneale time2talk Leadership.
2020 CLUB COMMITTEE
Two of our women’s players – Jas Cannizzo and Liv Giblin – joined the 2020 Club Committee. Jas and Liv will join Penny Heath who was re-elected at the recent Annual General Meeting. We thank them and look forward to their continuing contributions to making our club the best it can be. Penny will continue to look after Women’s Football Operations, Jas will be looking after sponsorship and Liv will be looking after the club’s social events for 2020.