Eilidh is currently the Girls SAP Technical Director, Boys Under 14’s Coach and Representative Programs Manager at Northern Tigers and a Program Leader for XLR8 Player Development!
How did you first get involved in coaching?
There was an opportunity to join a coach development program when I was at university in Scotland. This provided a variety of opportunities including running after school programs, coaching children with disabilities and being exposed to great learning experiences. I was intrigued by coaching and gained coaching qualifications in various sports, not just football. I didn’t regularly start coaching until 2015 when I decided to stay in Sydney and play for Northern Tigers. It didn’t take long for me to realise this was something I wanted to do with my time.
Do you think professional coaching should be exclusively for the advanced or elite player? Why/why not?
I think professional coaching should be available to all players. I think working with players of all levels help develop you as a coach.
All players in the game should have the opportunity to be exposed to a positive, engaging football environment whether they are dreaming of playing professionally or would like to play in a social competition with friends. Professional coaching assists players/teams/clubs to have a positive, engaging environment as they tend to have more resources and experience behind them.
How important is a coach in a players football experience?
Crucial, it is a big part of my WHY when it comes to coaching. This has stemmed from my experiences as a youth player and what I wish was available to me growing up. A coach plays the same role as a teacher and football can make up a huge part of a child’s life. They are a role model, an influencer who has a direct impact on a young person’s life.
How do you find coaching boys and young men?
I have coached both teenage girls and boys and from my experience, gender stereotypes are off base.
Is there any excuse that female cannot be technically and tactically on the same level as men in regards to football ability?
Absolutely not. However, obstacles that are preventing us currently:
- Coach quality
- Training and Game Facilities
- Depth of participation which impacts team and competition selection
- Genuine career pathway
When the culture changes to be fully inclusive to females in the game and this is happening. The expectation and standards to everything in the female game will improve and we will see female players be technically and tactically savvy as the guys.