Swannies coach heads to the Blues
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.”
Nicole Graves is heading back to Victoria after a long stint in Perth.