Women’s Coaching Month profile – Fran Williams

With July being designated as Women’s Coaching Month across the country we take the time to highlight the fantastic work of our own local female coaches.

In this latest instalment we focus on Fran Williams, coach of the Port Macquarie Magpies Youth Girls team.

Fran grew up playing Netball through school and also did a lot of dancing. She got involved in footy when her kids joined the Port Macquarie Magpies and took up coaching because she “thought it was something I would enjoy and I love seeing the kids have fun and getting totally absorbed by the game of AFL at any age level.”

So when the club asked in late 2017 if anyone would be interested in coaching the next season (and still on a high from Richmond winning the flag!), Fran volunteered!

“I just thought it would be great to coach my son’s team, but didn’t at all realise how much I would get out of it. I really enjoy interacting with the kids and watching them grow both in skill level and emotionally. I look forward to the training sessions and the whole experience is more rewarding than I had anticipated.”

As a coach, Fran loves “seeing the improvement in the players, the emotional ups and downs of winning and losing and generally helping the kids have an hour or so a week where they don’t have to think about anything else other than their footy. It’s an escape from the day to day.”

Having enjoyed the experience so much what would Fran say to other women who are thinking about coaching footy?

“Just get in there and do it! It can be daunting at first for some, but I think it’s great for kids to see women participating in club footy at the coaching level because it becomes the “norm”.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the response from each of my groups over the past three years. I felt I connected with them in a different way to what they were used to and it brought out the best in both the team and myself.”

July 2021 is the AFL’s inaugural Women’s Coaching Month, recognising the contribution of women who coach across the country. To learn more about AFL coaching for women, visit coach.afl/women-girls-coaching.