top of page

Women's Coaching Month: Celebrating our YJFL coaches

The football community and the YJFL are currently celebrating Women's Coaching Month presented by BHP with the month of July dedicated to celebrating the contribution of women and girls in coaching roles and promoting pathway programs and initiatives to get more women coaching from grassroots through to the elite level.

Throughout our competition, there are many outstanding and talented female coaches who have been nominated by their clubs for the contribution they make to the footballing community.


The AFL is currently seeking nominations for the The BHP Community Coach of the Year Award recognising the outstanding performance and contribution community coaches make to progressing women’s football and shaping their local community. Closes 31/07/2023

The YJFL will continue to celebrate Women's Coaching Month for the remainder of July. If you'd like to recognise a coach at your club, email here.


Kim Brownlie (Balwyn Greythorn - U14 Girls)

Mother of two and coach of an all conquering Jets girls squad, Kim Brownlie has been with this core group since their debut in the U10 girls competition winning premierships in the U12 Gold and U13 Gold competitions.

Over many years Kim has been the sole female head coach in the first division of this age group and has been able to build a training program with a strong focus on development and enjoyment attracting many new players. She has a great understanding of young women and life on and off the football field.

Kim has created a programme for the U14 girls that we are trying to replicate within the club as a whole. She continues to create great connection with her players and cares very deeply for them as a group, this shines through consistently and Kim stands out as such a positive role model for her girls.

Kim is also highly focussed on her coaching development and is always looking to improve personally and as a group which, is a fantastic coaching skill.

Without doubt Kim has been the driving force behind the success of the group, fiercely competitive but able to balance out the coaching style with effective teaching techniques for young girls and a care for her group that is a stand out for our club.

Ainslie Pettit (Beverley Hills - U10 Girls)

Ainslie took on the role of Head Coach for the U10 Girls team this year knowing she had jumped right into the deep end with limited knowledge about AFL, the rules and especially how to coach the skills.

It has been amazing to watch her utilise every resource available, dedicate her time to learning all things footy and bringing her creativity and fun to help ensure our youngest girls continue to develop their footy in a safe, fun, and inclusive environment. We love watching these girls train and play because you can always see big grins and smiles on their faces.

Ainslie has stepping outside of her comfort zone to support our Girls Football Program at Beverley Hills and thank her for the fantastic work she is doing being a super coach and awesome role model for our “little ladies.”

Emily Baldi (Bulleen Templestowe - U14 Girls)

Emily started playing with the Bullants in 2014 as an U12 and played all the way through to her last season as a Youth Girl in 2022. Playing over 109 games at the Bullants, she was not only a fantastic player but the heart of her team every year. Emily was awarded the B&F many times over her junior years, was part of a Premiership Team in 2019 and was included in the Youth Girls Team of the Year last year.

Deciding to give back to the club she loves - Emily has taken on the role of coach for our merged U14's Girls Team with Templestowe. Taking on a merged team is always a challenge but Emily has come on board with a complete understanding on how to bring a team together, having been part of our merged Youth Girls Team last year with Doncaster. She really is the perfect fit and the girls have absolutely flourished this year with all the enthusiasm, knowledge and understanding she brings to the team. Under her guidance, the girls are currently undefeated all season with Emily getting them over the line in some pretty tight games - it's been fantastic to watch.

Keli Symons (left) (Fitzroy - Coaching Director and Girls Development Manager)
Fitzroy JFC players pose for a photo with former Coaching Director and Girls Development Manager, Keli Symons, Female Development Coordinator, Julie Graney, and Bulldogs AFLW player, Rylie Wilcox, at a preseason girls clinic

Keli has been an outstanding contributor to FJFC as an an active mentor for female coaches serving as the former Coaching Director and former Girls Development Manager.

Keli has coached teams from all genders and ages and is still active in the club and assists the committee, coaches and teams in a variety of ways but particularly with mentoring coaches of girls teams and advocating for the specific needs of the girls competition which is still in development.

Madi Coleman (Hawthorn Citizens - U14 Girls)

In 2022, as part of a wider push by Hawthorn Citizens to engage more female coaches across our teams, we appointed Madi Coleman as coach of our Under 13 girls team with Phil Crowe as mentor having coached this cohort since 2018.

Madi developed a great rapport with the team and provided rewarding insights, drills and motivation to the girls throughout the season. Madi is always well spoken, professional and willing to learn in addition to balancing her coaching duties with her own playing commitments in her U16 team.

Madi has continued on her coaching path with the team now in Under 14s as head coach and seen a large influx of new players of varying abilities. It appears that all players both established and new, feel a great sense of inclusion and a willingness to improve and enjoy their footy.

Hawthorn Citz are very proud to have Madi as part of their coaching group in 2023 and beyond.

Jess Dal Pos (Ivanhoe - U16 Girls)

Jess is a fantastic role model for the team, bringing insight into playing the game from club level through to professional level.

After having to stop playing football at age 13 because at that time girls were not allowed to play after that age, she is focused on keeping girls in the sport and ensuring that they enjoy the game.

Jess knows the game so well and is strategic, while also being inclusive and encouraging fun. She pushes the players to give their best, but not be too hard on themselves, and our players continue to develop and thrive under her leadership. Jess clearly loves the sport and wants to see girls footy grow.

Anna Kent / Grace Lambert (Macleod - U14 Girls)

Anna has been involved in coaching at Macleod since 2018, firstly as assistant coach, then as Head Coach. She has also been a committee member for the past three years taking on the role of Girls Coordinator.

The growth that we have seen in our female numbers can be largely attributed to Anna and her commitment and enthusiasm to seeing girls play footy. In her time at Macleod we've seen the numbers grow from four or five girls to three full teams. She has always been very supportive of the other coaches (male or female) and has supported our involvement in studies such as LaTrobe University's 'Prep to Play' to better understand coaching girls. Anna has also been instrumental in getting female footy players down to the club to talk to our girls teams, including Penny Cula-Reid, some AFLW players and members from La Trobe university's women's VAFA team.

This year, she has mentored Grace Lambert who played in our Youth Girls team last year and took on the role as assistant coach to learn more about coaching and to help the club by volunteering her time - a big ask for a first year, 18 year old uni student.

Maryanna Salem (Parade St Damians - U11s)

Maryana has coached our under 11 team this year and coached our under 10 team last year. The kids love playing with her as the coach and she has given up significant amounts of time to help develop our kids.

Nicole Muleta (Templestowe - U11s)

Nicole Muleta has been a force for girls and women's football within our club since the inception of girls team's at Templestowe JFC in 2018. Nicole, along with our other inaugural coach, Travis Watson, was instrumental in setting up and coaching one of our first girl's teams, who also took out the premiership in U12's.

Since then, our premiership coach has only missed coaching her girls for one season and is looking forward to continuing her coaching journey with the same group of girls into Season 2024 and beyond.

Nicole is very passionate about girls football, even playing Templestowe FC's inaugural women's team in 2019. She is fiercely protective and a passionate advocate for the benefits of young women playing and enjoying sport. She has built a very tightknit team who are very inclusive and supportive of each other and enjoy spending time with each other outside of football as well as on the field.

Chanelle Vitiritti (Warrandyte - U12 Girls)

Chanelle currently plays for the Youth Girls and the Warrandyte Senior Women’s Team and is a first year Coach to our U12 Girls having been Assistant Coach for U14 Girls in 2021 and Assistant Coach to U10 Girls in 2022.

Chanelle began her playing journey at Warrandyte Auskick and has since played 80 games for the club since starting in the U12 Girls.

Chanelle is currently studying Year 12 full-time and working part-time, but in her spare time she attends training sessions with other senior Coaches in order to further develop her own coaching skills.

As a Coach she is the ultimate role model for these U12 Girls, as she is also one of the Club Captains. From the moment the players see Chanelle at training or on game day, they immediately run to her with excitement to greet her.

Chanelle is very patient, easy going, encouraging and nurturing towards the girls and she has create a fantastic atmosphere for our young players. The U12 Girls have been able to develop a unique friendship which has resulted in excellent team spirit, evident on and off the field.

Chanelle has also inspired other Youth Girls to step into Assistant Coaching roles one of whom she has taken under her guidance as Assistant Coach for the U12 Girls.

bottom of page