Women's Coaching Month | Reens

Updated: Jul 31, 2021

As part of the AFL’s inaugural Women’s Coaching Month this July - which aims to celebrate women in coaching across all levels of the game, while promoting coaching as a pathway for women and girls in the football community - we are proud to celebrate MUWFC’s four women coaches.

First up is our Head of Coaching and Seniors Co-Coach, Erini ‘Reens’ Gianakopoulos. Reens joined the MUWFC family in 2000 as a player, has seen a few premierships in the black and blue, and is currently completing her Level 2 Coaching Course. Read on to find out about Reens’ coaching journey, and keep an eye out to hear more about her Co-Coach, Martha Cantwell, Thirds Co-Coach, Kate Francis and Thirds Assistant Coach, Alysia ‘Leash’ Turnbull very soon...

How long have you been coaching for and how did you get into it?

My first year was 2003 coaching the MUWFC Reserves. I was having a season off due to injury and thought I’d try to make myself useful around the place.

What is your favourite thing about coaching?

Post-match in the rooms after a win; it’s my favourite time of a very busy footy week. And also when the small forwards nail the front and centre timing 👌

Has coaching taught you anything or helped you in your life outside of footy?

It’s been great for my PowerPoint and Excel skills. But also, resilience, because it’s a must-have as a coach at any level I think.

What are the standout moments from your coaching career?

The flags! 2003 and 2018. And, of course, when Emma and Bridie joined the MUGARS.

Do you have a coaching hero(ine) or someone you try to emulate?

There are two former MUWFC Coaches that I respect enormously and am a complete fangirl of: Lisa Hardeman and Adam Rieusset. If I can make half the contribution they did to our club, then we’ll be flying.

What have you missed the most in the periods away from footy in the last year?

The MUGAR vibe, the banter, the happy faces and reminding Abbey she’s short.

What is the best excuse you've heard for missing training?

“Need the night off training to go on a date.” Fair enough too, I’m not going to stand in the way of true love.

Any good nicknames you've received from your players?

Top Dog (or does it not count if I gave myself the nickname?).

And finally, how do you get your players to worship the ground you walk on?

I start off many stories with “back in my day” and it tricks them into thinking I know what I’m talking about.

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