Leanne Meyer Photo: wrfl.com.au

In the next instalment of our Women in Coaching series, the Inner Sanctum speaks to local female footy coach Leanne Meyer.

When it comes to local football leagues in Victoria the Western Region Football League is one of the best when it comes to Women’s Football.

The WRFLs Senior Women’s competition is one of the largest across the state and has some of the best footballers and coaches.

One of those is Leanne Meyer, coach of the Point Cook Centrals Senior Women’s team and head of female football at the Sharks.

The Inner Sanctum spoke to Meyer about her football background as well as her coaching career to date.

Meyer grew up in and around a football club and as soon as she got the chance to she was playing footy or helping out in any way possible.

“My dad was a very good football coach and coached the national army team as well as won many junior and senior premierships throughout his coaching career,” Meyer told The Inner Sanctum.

“So I was always in the background of that and being around and sleeping under pool tables and tables growing up at a football club.

” I played football back in the 80s when girls had to stop at 12 so once I hit that mark, I went into boundary umpiring, team managing, assistant coaching, running and so forth. Then followed my calling from there.”

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Meyer has created a great culture down at the Sharks with the team having a great camaraderie which translates into her coaching philosophy perfectly.

“Women need to feel like they belong in order to play well. Men need to play well to feel like they belong.

“Having that and creating that belong feeling is so important in girls and women and that aligns with why I want to coach and why I do what I do and spend and the endless hours behind the scenes work that I do.

“Feeling like you have a purpose and feeling like you belong creates all the feels and all the warm and fuzzies. If we create that for women, they play well.”

Meyer first got involved with Point Cook Centrals after moving across from another club that her daughter was playing at and creating the second-ever girl’s team at the Sharks.

I have a daughter that played for another club and the coach you know wasn’t what I thought they were going to be which is a learning curve as well.

“So, I brought over 6 or seven girls from another club to Point Cook Centrals and really pushed and strived for a junior team and we got there, we started with 6 or seven players and we ended up with 26.

“There was one female junior team at the club which was fabulous was U15’s or U18’s. We were younger again, we were Under 10’s, Under 12’s.”

What the team went on the achieve in pure growth of numbers was amazing and will always be one of Meyer’s proudest coaching moments.

“I still remember taking the Under 12 girls from seven players to 27 players and you start off with seven at training and then you get 10 at training and the next thing you know you have girls playing cross-code sports and they are choosing to come to football training over basketball training.

“The kids are choosing that, and the parents are thinking, hang on I’ve paid all this money so there is that and their passion and instilling this passion into these girls that they almost can’t live without it.

“Winning my first game with that bunch of girls, I cried like a baby that day I will never forget that first win, we didn’t know the words to the theme song it was so amazing.”

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