Gold Coast SUNS AFLW leader Jamie Stanton has been named as the Head Coach of the South Queensland team for the inaugural Interstate Women’s Rep Clash.
The game between North Queensland and South Queensland will be played on July 2nd on the Gold Coast, and will be a history making moment for female football in Queensland.
Players from the six established women’s competitions in regional Queensland and six in Southeast Queensland make up the squads.
Stanton said she was excited to have the opportunity to coach her own team at a high level.
“It’s a great feeling to be selected as Head Coach and it’s nice to know I have the experience and the ability levels to coach at that level, as well as the belief from AFL Queensland,” she said.
“To be honest, I want it to be about the girls, it’s not about me; it’s about them and how I can help make them better players.”
Stanton grew up on the Gold Coast and came through the Queensland female football pathway.
“I think there is a lot of untapped talent out there locally. They’ve seen the rise of AFLW and there’s more girls playing footy year on year, so it will be great to see that talent on show in the rep match,” she said.
Stanton will also have the support of inaugural GC SUNS AFLW Head Coach, David Lake, who has been appointed as coach mentor for the South Queensland team.
“It’s really special – he’s been a mentor to me now for about six or so years – since the start of AFLW,” Stanton said.
So it’s nice to be able to build on our relationship and hopefully he can help to develop a different coaching aspect on myself and the other coaches and give advice and wisdom to the girls in the squad.
Stanton said coaching was an area she held a passion for and could see a career in post-football.
“I’ve done a lot of Academy, club and school coaching and it’s something that I am looking at growing and seeing where it takes me,” she said.
“I think I am in a really lucky position at the moment that I have some knowledge and experience and with my job as a teacher I think they marry up really well.”
Coaching the North Queensland team will be AFL Cairns Premiership winning player Jo Butland.
Butland said the game was a great opportunity to develop future AFLW talent for the Gold Coast SUNS.
“I grew up in North Queensland and I know firsthand the talent that we have up here,” she said.
“It will be great to coach and showcase the group of girls that we ultimately select. The rep program is a hugely important part of the female talent pathway, especially for some of players that are in their early 20s and are thinking ‘do I still have a chance?’
“We’ve seen the likes of Jacqui Dupuy go down south, play in the QAFLW and get picked up by the Gold Coast SUNS. It’s opening the players eyes to those possibilities.”
Butland is supported by SUNS AFLW Assistant Coach Kieran Daley, Jennifer Revell from the Mackay City Hawks and Meg Greenland from the Curra Swans in Townsville, and says bringing coaches through the rep program is just as important.
Rounding out the South Queensland coaching team is SUNS AFLW staff member and Coorparoo assistant coach Ariana Reilly, Sandgate’s Ben Long, and Lisa Milne from Mt Gravatt.
The game will be played at the Southport Sharks on July 2nd.
South QLD – QFAW, Wide Bay and Darling Downs leagues
Jamie Stanton – Head Coach (GC SUNS AFLW)
Ben Long – Lead Assistant Coach (Sandgate)
Ariana Reilly – Assistant Coach (Coorparoo)
Lisa Milne - Assistant Coach (Mt Gravatt)
David Lake – Coach Mentor
North QLD – Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton leagues
Jo Butland – Head Coach (North Cairns)
Kieran Daley – Lead Assistant Coach (GC SUNS AFLW)
Jennifer Revell – Assistant Coach (Mackay City Hawks)
Meg Greenland – Assistant Coach (Curra Swans)