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Frankie guides Next Gen Roy Girls


Fitzroy-ACU Women 2 player, Frankie Freeman, has not only been honing her own craft during the season, but one of the inaugural Roy Girls, has been passing on her wisdom and intel to the younger generation, coaching a Fitzroy Junior Football Club Under 10s team. She tells the Red Roy about her first year of coaching the juniors, demonstrating a lovely connection between Roy Girls big and small. Go Frankie!

Tell us how you got started coaching the juniors? A combination of a couple of beers and a lot of enthusiasm! I kinda got (willingly) roped into it after having a yarn to Phil Murdoch (FJFC President) at the Fitzroy Season launch earlier this year.

But it's been something I've been thinking about for a while. It's not quite my first foray into football coaching - I was the playing coach for my interschool sports team in high school because none of the teachers wanted to put their hand up to coach a girlsteam…which says a lot about where women's AFL was at when I was younger!

I used to coach men's and women's senior hockey though so it's definitely been a learning experience with the girls!/p>

What have you learnt about yourself as a coach this year? I think I've learned to have more fun as a coach. I think when I was coaching adults I may have had a tendency to deny some of my larrikin nature in favour of commanding respect, but the thing with the girls is that they are much more receptive and respectful if you're being your authentic self... they can spot if you're bullshitting a mile away!/p>

How do you go managing a throng of 10-year-olds? It's actually a delight! I'm sure the rest of the Senior Fitzroy-ACU squad can attest to just how effusive I am about them all. Every single one of them has made me smile at some stage throughout the season - sometimes it was through growth they've shown in their game, other times it might be a random out of nowhere comment that shows their personality. They're a really good bunch of humans; the future of the Roy Girls is in good hands!/p>

What's next in your coaching career? I'm super keen to build on this year and become a better coach going into the future. I'm particularly interested in the development of women's and girl's footy and think that's where my coaching career will be based - I'm doing some training over the summer to make sure that I'm prepared for an even better season next year.

A little further down the track, when my body doesn't let me slog it out on the field anymore, my goal is to coach a senior women's team. The "big" Roy Girls would be the ultimate wouldn't it? Maybe in 10 years when the littlies from this year are coming through to senior level?strong> 

Nice one Frankie.

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