Main content

McLarty primed for new role

SUNS TV: Fiona McLarty interview SUNS TV spoke to new Head of Women's Football, Fiona McLarty.

The 2020 AFLW season just got a step closer.

On Monday Gold Coast announced Fiona McLarty as the new Head of Women’s Football, a role which will help oversee the SUNS’ introduction to the AFLW competition. 

McLarty, who comes from AFL Queensland after serving as the Gold Coast Regional Manager, brings 18 years of industry experience to the newly created role. 

“The networks I’ve got across the Gold Coast community (will be valuable), also the background in how I’ve seen women’s football grow,” McLarty told SUNS TV.

“I’ve coached, been an administrator and I’ve got a really good handle on talent with the young girls coming through.

“It’s a great opportunity to see what we’re going to develop in the next couple of years.”

Most recently, McLarty was a key figure in the 2018 Gold Coast SUNS Winter Series squad, taking up a post as an assistant coach. 

Her role in that series gives her a foundation of strong relationships to build from. 

“It was a really exciting opportunity,” she said of her Winter Series role.

“I actually had the opportunity to work on the bid for the Gold Coast SUNS to get the license, so to actually see the girls out there playing in the Winter Series as the first step on our journey to AFLW in 2020 - it made it real.

“It was also a really good opportunity to start to build a culture and plan for where we want to take the club in the next couple of years.”

A key responsibility in McLarty’s new role will be to work closely with Craig Cameron, Gold Coast’s GM – List & Strategy, on constructing the inaugural AFLW list. 

“I’m really looking forward to working with Craig, I’ve had a little bit to do with him already and he’s been very generous with his knowledge and his time,” McLarty said.

“He’s also genuinely interested in the female football space so I think he’ll be a massive asset to the women’s program.

“We’ll be able to learn so much from him and (I’m) looking forward to creating our first list together over the next 12 months.”

McLarty started in her new role on Monday and has turned her attention to devising a plan of attack for the coming months.

“High on the list of priorities will be recruiting a head coach (and) the rest of the support staff for the program as well,” she said.

“We’re currently working with the AFL on our list build – when we can start signing players and how we’re going to be able to go about doing that.

“And also working closely with the Academy on the Academy programs, making sure we’re developing our local talent and our talent from North Queensland.”