New Caroline Springs women’s coach Dean Ellis decided the time was right to step up and coach his daughter.
Having coached his son and been president of the Lakers, Ellis was recently named the club’s women’s coach for next year’s Western Region Football League season.
Ellis, who has watched the women’s side the past few years, said it was a good opportunity to coach.
He replaces Colin Clohesy.
“I’ve coached my son in the past and my daughter plays football at Caroline Springs,” he said.
“I thought I would stand up and do something for her.
“She is pretty excited by it. She had always said something to me, that you’ve coached my brother, now it’s time you coached me.”
Ellis admits that he’s an old fashioned coach that does give a bit of spray, but knows that women’s football is different to men’s.
He was president of the club when it first introduced female sides.
“The way women’s footy is, it’s come a long way,” he said.
“It’s a bit different to male football, so I will have to change my ways a bit.
“There’s so much passion the girls have for it and I’m going to try and tap into that passion.
“We’ve got sides in the under-18s and under-16s and I want to have a pathway for them.
“I want them to have somewhere to play, if they can’t or don’t want to play at a higher level.”
The Lakers have made finals every year since first fielding a women’s side in 2017.
They were runners-up in 2018 to Manor Lakes, before falling short in the 2019 decider to Spotswood.
The 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID-19.
Ellis said he expected them to still have that core group of players, despite no football this season.
“We’ll work hard,” he said.
“We had a core group of about 25 players and hopefully most of them will return.
“There’s a few 18s girls who are coming up and this will be their first season playing in under-18s.
“It’s a big step up for those players, but we have the other players there to help them with that transition.”
The club is still waiting for AFL Victoria to announce when clubs can return to training.
Ellis said he hoped they could get in a few sessions before Christmas.
“We want to test the waters and hit the road running next year.”