As July draws to a close, so too does the AFL's inaugural Women's Coaching Month.
Our last profile in this series is on our Seniors Co-Coach, Martha Cantwell, who has made a huge impression in her short few years at MUWFC and is currently completing her Level 2 Coaching Course. Martha, alongside all our other coaches, is getting ready for an exciting finals campaign - starting tomorrow! Keep an eye on our social media pages to stay up-to-date with results, but in the meantime, find out more about Martha's coaching journey below...
How long have you been coaching for and how did you get into it?
Coaching is something I was casually doing within schools [as a teacher] without putting a label on it. Outside of school, this is my third full season coaching footy.
What is your favourite thing about coaching?
I love the process of helping others and seeing them grow, whether it's as a footballer or as an individual. The MUGARS has such a diverse range of players who all bring their own strengths to our team; seeing that come together and them developing is the best, they are the best, and that's why they are playing finals this season.
Has coaching taught you anything or helped you in your life outside of footy?
Absolutely, coaching has complemented my ability to teach and connect with others from all different walks of life; MU is another space I learn within every day.
What are the standout moments from your coaching career?
Seeing players overcome hardship or achieve something they once didn't think they could. In my first season, we had one of our players with cystic fibrosis get quite ill during the season and she fought so hard to get back so she could line up to play in our finals side. It lifted the whole side and everyone played for so much more. These moments are what I love most!
Do you have a coaching hero(ine) or someone you try to emulate?
If I had to choose one person, Chris Fagan. However, I constantly reflect on my own experiences as a player, student, learner and teacher. That's what shapes a lot of my coaching.
What have you missed the most in the periods away from footy in the last year?
Just the social aspect and overall fulfilment you get from football and the people involved. Football is a huge part of people's lives.
Thanks to our four women coaches for their time answering our questions. We are so lucky to have you at MUWFC and wish you all the best for finals and beyond!