The Cats have welcomed some fresh and returning faces to their AFL Women’s coaching line-up in 2021.
Elise Coventry, who played with the Cats through their VFL Women’s program and was AFLW-listed before an ACL injury put a spanner in the works, has come on board as a development coach under senior coach Paul Hood.
Former AFL Cat Aaron Black is back after a year away, and will again look after the forwards, while Josh Finch, who was a development coach last season, will step into the role of assistant coach in charge of defenders.
Daniel Lowther, another former AFL Cat, also joins the coaching ranks. Having previously worked as an analyst for the club’s AFL side, he will step into the midfield coaching role.
David Morgan will continue as a development coach, joined by Coventry and retired Adelaide premiership ruck Jess Foley.
Foley will work predominantly with the Cats’ rucks, and will also be assistant team doctor in a unique dual-role capacity.
For Coventry, who has put her playing career on hold next year as she is pregnant, the opportunity to step into the coaching ranks helps elevate the coaching skills and knowledge she has been developing through the club since her ACL injury in 2019.
“(I) started that process with the VFLW in 2019, and then I had full expectations to play in 2020, and obviously COVID hit and our family plans changed a little,” Coventry said.
“As soon as I let the club know, they’ve been right behind me with my coaching development and giving me an opportunity to come down here and still be involved and help with the players here.
“(I’ll help) develop the younger ones through and a few of the girls in rehab, because obviously that’s where my experience has been the last few years, just helping them through the challenge of being on the sidelines and not in the main group.”
While her focus is on coaching and her pregnancy for now, Coventry – who was an upgraded train-on partner for the Cats last season – said she is also eager to return to the field as a player when the time is right.
“I’m not ruling footy out,” she said.
“I didn’t get enough – two years wasn’t enough. Expectation and reality (can be) hugely different, but I’m definitely going to give myself the chance.”
In further news, the club has confirmed its VFL Women's coaching line-up for 2021, with Andrew Bruce appointed VFLW Senior Coach and Alfonso Della Monica as VFLW Assistant Coach.
Geelong’s AFLW Coaching Group
Paul Hood – Senior AFLW Coach
Aaron Blank – Assistant Coach (forwards)
Daniel Lowther – Assistant Coach (midfielders)
Josh Finch – Assistant Coach (defenders)
David Morgan – Development Coach
Elise Coventry – Development Coach
Jess Foley – Development Coach