Victoria Women’s side name head coach
Story Credit: Lucas O’Neill
The Victorian National women’s side has received some great news with former Wallaroo’s representative Alana Thomas signing on to coach the side for the second year in a row.
The news comes as the final coaching panel was selected last week with Thomas saying she is keen to continue giving back to the sport which brought her so much joy during her playing career.
“When I moved down here from New South Wales and decided that I was not going to play I knew that I wanted to coach so I could try and help to try and give back to the sport which has given me so much joy over the years.” Thomas said.
After spending time in an ARU developing coaches program and then acting as an assistant coach for the side Thomas took over the role of head coach in 2016 and is thoroughly excited about continuing the role in 2017.
“We will begin the selection process for the squad over the next couple of weeks, we have our 10’s day coming up on the 25th of February and then we will have a 2 – 3 week selection period to try and pick our squad.
“We will be able to train as a group a couple of times a week all the way up to the Southern States Tournament in April.”
After last year using the Southern States tournament as part of the selection process, Thomas says the coaching staff plans to take a different approach this year and bring their final 23 girl squad to the tournament.
“We will hope to bring our final 23 girl squad to Wagga for the Southern States.
“Last year we used this as part of our selection trials but we found it to be a bit counterproductive so we would like to have our squad finalized and playing as a group for this tournament.”
Thomas says that having a tournament like the Southern states as a lead up to the Nationals in May is a massive positive and something that the girls will get a lot out of.
“Getting to play against NSW Country and ACT before Nationals is a massive positive for us, by this time the draw for nationals should be out so we will know if we are playing these teams and be able to get a good look at them and how they play.
“It [Southern States] is a really good tournament, ACT contested the final in nationals last year so we know we are going to have some really good competition.”
This year’s National tournament will be held on the Gold Coast on the 11th – 14th of May, Thomas is confident that the Victorian team will be really strong and is looking forward to the battle of playing against some quality teams on the Gold Coast.
“We are still at a really early stage so it is hard to set any goals in terms of results in the nationals, at the moment it is really about trying to build some continuity in our squad which can sometimes be a challenge.
“There are three or four girls who we unearthed last year who had a few injuries, we feel like these girls could make a really big impact for us this season and we are really looking forward to seeing what they can do.”
Thomas believes that the competition will be fierce at this year’s carnival with a number of teams possessing a big threat.
“Sydney, Queensland and the ACT are all really strong sides.
“The majority of the Wallaroos squad is made up from the Sydney and Queensland teams so they are always going to be hard to beat, being up at the gold coast you think Brisbane will be really strong but it’s hard to say.
“Brisbane and Sydney play each other in the 10’s in a couple of weeks so we will have a fairly good understanding of who is the team to beat after that.”
The selection process for the women’s team will commence in the next week and the 23 girl squad will play their first competitive game on the 8-9th April at the Southern States Tournament in Wagga.
State Team Applications – NOW OPEN!
Applications are now open to be a part of the Women’s State Team Program. All applicants must attend the information session (details below)
It is important that all players attend the following information session that will outline the program and all training and financial commitments.
If you cannot attend, but are still interested in trialing for the team, please email Mick Stevens
Date: Sunday 26th February
Location: Lakeside Stadium, 33 Aughtie Drive, Albert Park, 3206, Victoria, Australia
Contact: Mick Stevens (Team Manager)
0438 080 359
Training for the Nationals will begin Sunday 5th of March. The final team selected will represent Victoria at the following tournaments in 2017.
- 8-9th April Southern States Tournament, Wagga
- 11-14th May Women’s Nationals, Gold Coast