SBMT AFC today announced, that trailblazing AFL women’s coach, Peta Searle, will take on a specialist consulting role within its football academy in 2022.

In a move designed to accelerate the development of the club’s women’s coaching pathway, Searle will mentor a mix of the club’s leading female coaches during the season.

According to club president Lou Prichard Nicholson, the club is committed to developing a tailored women’s coaching pathway that attracts, retains and develops aspiring female coaches.

“To have someone of Peta’s calibre and elite coaching experience mentoring our aspiring and inspiring female coaches is an invaluable foundation step in our academy program” said Prichard Nicholson.

SBMT Tiger Academy founder and Director of Coaching, Joe Galati said, Searle’s planned involvement has already inspired the next generation of young women to step forward and take on senior coaching roles at the footy club next season.

“Former SBMT players Chelsea Bowen and Chloe Saultry are two shining examples of the next generation of aspiring coaches ready to be nurtured by the inaugural AFLW Saints former coach and current SMJFL ambassador” said Galati.

“Our coaching panel across our VAFA senior & SMJFL youth teams now comprises seven leading female coaches; Belinda Ousley (VAFA Senior Women), Georgia Wilson (VAFA Reserves Women), Natalie Corrigan & Bek Dee (Under 18s women), Chelsea Bowen & Chloe Saultry (Under 16s Girls) & Debbie Whelehan (Under 12 girls)” said Galati.

“I have enjoyed working with Peta to map out the key touchpoints of our women’s coaching pathway and I look forward to working with her closely to execute on the vision” said Galati.