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Female Coaches Roundtable Discussion

At the Yarra Table – Coaches

In the final of our three-part series, we join four of the top coaches involved with the YJFL. They join to discuss female coaches in the League and in football.

This episode focusses on how they all began in Football, what they love about it and how to encourage female coaches to join the ranks.

In addition, YJFL Female Umpire Coach, Rosie Dodds joins to discuss her rise throughout the umpire ranks and how she encourages young female umpires coming in.

Check out the episode and understand how important females are to the future of the YJFL.

Join Penny Cula-Reid (YJFL Female Football Ambassador), Sophia Ikosidekas (YJFL Representative Coach), Erin MacLatchy (Brunswick Head Coach) and Rosie Dodds (YJFL Umpire Coach) as they talk ‘Women in Yarra’.


Penny Cula-Reid 

An influential player and coach, Penny played her football with the St Kilda Sharks in the VWFL before joining the Collingwood Magpies in 2017 for the inaugural season of AFLW.  At the beginning of 2018 she took the reigns as coach of the first Magpies VFL Women’s team – being awarded the VFLW Coach of the Year in 2018 and leading the club to a premiership in 2019.  Keen for a new challenge in 2020, she moved to Williamstown as their VFL Women’s head coach and lead that program to the end of the 2022 season.

Penny is most noted for her trailblazing efforts as a teen when she took her case through the legal system to allow girls to play in mixed competitions up to under 14 level.

Penny, along with being the YJFL’s Female Football Ambassador since 2020 has been coach of many YJFL teams, recently in 2022 as the U15 Girls head coach where she led them through a terrific Metro Series program.

Sophia Ikosidekas

Started my 9th year of coaching, having held various positions of leadership from grassroots participation-based play to high-performance state and national programs. I started coaching in basketball and held many roles over the 6 years. In addition, I have coached in schools across Melbourne as well as run/coached within clinics.

My passion for coaching goes hand in hand with my love of learning. To supplement my roles on-field, I have also built a good foundation of knowledge through education. I have completed a Bachelor of Exercise & Sports Science, Majoring in Sports Coaching. I currently am undertaking a Master of Teaching (Secondary) and teaching “Sport Coaching” at the university. I have also completed a Postgraduate Sports Coaching Micro credential (2020) & am a Level 2 AFL Coach (2021).

Football timeline:

  1. 2018: YJFL U13 2’s representative match

  2. 2019 – 2021: Beverley Hills JFC Head Coach (Youth Girls + U13/U14 Girls)

  3. Awarded AFL Victoria (Central Region): Female Coach of the Year (2019) +

  4. finalist for the AFL Victoria: Peta Searle Female Coach of the Year award

  5. 2019: Yarra Magpies Academy – Girls U13 Asst. Coach (+development in a couple of matches with U15 Girls)

  6. End of 2019 -> start of 2021: Oakleigh Chargers Development Coach

  7. 2021 – Current: Carlton VFLW Assistant Coach (Backline)

  8. 2022 – YJFL U16 Girls Representative Head Coach

  9. 2022 – Current: Carlton AFLW Opposition Analyst

Erin MacLatchy

Erin has been coaching Brunswick Dragons girls junior footy for 3 years – and coached the same team during that time, from U13 to U15s this year. Her first season was 2020 where the girls had no games! But they trained online every week which put the team in a good spot to hit the ground running in 2021.

2022 has been their most competitive season. Erin has worked with a co-coach during this time, who has been a great support.

In her 20s Erin played 4 seasons with Melbourne Uni MUGARS, when female football was still very uncommon then even in Melbourne. It was exciting after not having many opportunities to play growing up and she had many great football experiences; the biggest highlight was competing in the Southern Uni Games in 2005 where they won gold and Erin found a great coaching role model in Chyloe Kurdas.

In 2021 Erin was named the AFL Vic YJFL Female Coach of the Year.

In 2022 Erin was an assistant coach to the U14 Girls side and helped lead them throughout the program.

Rosie Dodds

  1. Started in 2014 umpiring U8

  2. Umpired multiple Colts games

  3. Umpired multiple grand finals (first grand final in 2016)

  4. Been invited twice to train with the AFL umpires through community umpiring weeks

  5. Umpired on the MCG/ Marvel at halftime with the Auskick

  6. Became an Umpire Coach in 2022 and mentor players first games

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