AFL North Coast celebrates Women’s Coaching Month

Shannon Goodenough coaches the Coffs Harbour Breakers Youth Girls team.


WOMEN’s contribution to Australian Rules football has been recognised this month, with July being the AFL’s inaugural Women’s Coaching Month.

Women’s Coaching Month gives football communities across the country the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate women coaching the game.

Football participation for women and girls has grown by more than 550 per cent in NSW and the ACT since 2010.

Nationally, the number of women and girls playing community football has swelled to greater than 70,000 in 2021, the largest yet seen.

Shannon Goodenough is one of four women who coach in AFL North Coast competitions.

She coaches the Coffs Harbour Breakers Youth Girls team and has played for the Breakers women for the past two seasons.

Born and bred in Coffs Harbour as a basketballer, Shannon had a brief stint in Armidale where she joined her first AFL team.

In 2020, she returned home to play for the Breakers and the following year put her hand up to coach the Youth Girls team while still playing in the senior side.

Her motivation to coach is to develop players’ skills and fitness, and to provide a pathway for young women to move through juniors and play in the senior competition.

AFL North Coast’s other female coaches include Katika Adams (Coffs Harbour Breakers reserves co-coach), Bec Minichilli (Sawtell/Toormina Saints women’s coach), and Fran Williams (Port Macquarie Magpies Youth Girls coach).

AFL North Coast’s Community Football & Competition Manager Paul Taylor said the four female coaches were great role models for the region’s female footballers.

“With four female coaches actively involved in the 2021 season, AFL North Coast is proud to play its part in celebrating these strong women as not only good coaches, but also as strong role models for girls and women throughout our sport.”

AFL NSW/ACT’s Coaching Development and Education Lead, Ryan O’Keefe, emphasised the importance of Women’s Coaching Month.

“Coaching requires leadership, management skills and intuition, these are traits every person possesses, no matter their gender,” he said.

“Women’s Coaching Month gives us an opportunity to highlight the great work done by our women coaches in community footy, they provide inspiration for players and coaches.

“I look forward to more women headlining football teams with innovation, passion, and the skills to develop players and create positive successful cultures.”

To learn more about AFL coaching for women, visit



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