A coach talking to junior football players in a huddle

Powering grassroots football

24 August 2018

In many parts of Tasmania footy is the backbone of the community. We have a long, proud history as a football state.

We are committed to powering the development of football from the ground up and we’ve sponsored the Tasmanian Football Foundation’s Coaching Mentor Network.

The program matches junior football coaches with experienced mentors and will reach 50 clubs, 300 teams and more than 800 players.

The mentors will share their experience and expertise with coaches in their region (North, North West or South) to improve the standard of coaching from the most junior levels all the way up. It’s also designed to help clubs retain existing players and increase new membership.

A number of our staff spend countless hours volunteering as junior football coaches.

Matt O’Brien is an electrician with Hydro Tasmania and volunteers with the Claremont Bulldogs girls under 11 team.

He said strong coaching staff were the key to a successful junior club.

“Great mentors and coaches help in a big way,” he said.

“Most of them have formal training from the various courses that are out there.

“I’ve seen teams with just parents running the teams and it’s not as successful as a trained mentor or coach. They still do a great job but training is the key to deal with the kids mentally as well as physically.

“I think the teams seem to listen to a strong mentor rather than just a parent.”

Rebuilding the foundations

The recent AFL steering committee investigation identified a decreasing number of participants at a junior level was one of the key challenges facing the state.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan identified coaching quality as the biggest issue for community clubs in their bid to retain players.

“The committee recognised the need to rebuild the foundations to ensure Tasmanian football prospers,” he said when handing down the findings.

The Coaching Mentor Network aims to develop, retain and inspire coaches who are the lifeblood of football in the state.

President of the Claremont Junior Football Club, Brendan Flack, who is also as an Electrical Works Coordinator at Hydro Tasmania said the mentoring program would make a real difference.

“The highly talented local coaches who have been recruited is truly exciting,” he said.

“It engages and shows the desired support of the dedicated volunteers that truly deserve the recognition of such a significant initiative.”

For more information on the Coaching Mentor Program go to the Tasmanian Football Foundation’s website.


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