Swan­nies coach heads to the Blues

Hills Gazette (Kalamunda) - - FRONT PAGE - Kristie Lim

FROM black and white to navy blue, out­go­ing Swan Dis­tricts women’s coach Nicole Graves will leave her 12-year legacy of de­vel­op­ing young foot­ballers at Bassendean Oval for Carl­ton Foot­ball Club this week.

The Guild­ford res­i­dent will be re­turn­ing home to Vic­to­ria af­ter serv­ing as a coach and V Swans academy man­ager and help­ing the club win sev­eral pre­mier­ships, in­clud­ing a tre­ble across se­niors, re­serves and youth girls in 2017.

Dur­ing her ca­reer Graves has also led the women’s AFL In­ter­na­tional Rules team and coached the West­ern Bull­dogs in an AFL women’s ex­hi­bi­tion match.

Graves, who is also a Carl­ton sup­porter, will be over­see­ing the women’s foot­ball pro­gram, along­side AFL women’s coach Daniel Har­ford and AFL head of foot­ball An­drew McKay, as well as work­ing in the mul­ti­cul­tural ar­eas of Mel­bourne’s north­ern cor­ri­dor. She will coach her last game for the Swans on July 7 against Perth An­gels be­fore for­mer premier­ship cap­tain Kara Don­nel­lan takes over for the re­main­der of the WA Women’s Foot­ball League sea­son.

Graves said she would miss the friend­ships and re­la­tion­ship with par­ents.

“The en­gage­ment of our par­ents and our kids into the club a few years ago with the youth girls has been a highlight for me, watch­ing those girls come up and now play se­nior footy,” she said.

“We have had the first of those girls start to come up over the last cou­ple of years, with Emily McGuire and Tay­lah McAuliffe both drafted and now we have got an­other five that have come up this year in the state 18s.”

Graves said it would be an in­ter­est­ing tran­si­tion from Swans to the Blues.

“Mel­bourne has changed a lot in over a decade as well – more cars, more peo­ple in the city,” she said.

“My first job is to ac­tu­ally fly to the Gold Coast and we will do some tal­ent ID (iden­ti­fi­ca­tion) at the state 18s girls na­tional cham­pi­onships.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d484501

Nicole Graves is head­ing back to Vic­to­ria af­ter a long stint in Perth.

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