After a year out of coaching, Michelle Cowan is itching to get stuck back into it when West Coast’s first AFLW pre-season officially opens later this month.
Cowan enjoyed a well-earned break after stepping away from the head coaching role at Fremantle at the end of the 2018 season but is delighted to be back involved in the game she loves as an assistant to Luke Dwyer at the Eagles.
“It was a really good year out and I entrenched myself with family and loved ones, but I’ve just ignited an incredible love of the game at West Coast and just keen to get back into it, which is exciting,” Cowan told emageogroup.com.
“It’s been quite a long time with my coaching roles, not only through the WAFL and South Fremantle, but at the Melbourne Football Club for four years and then over to Freo.
“I just felt that the break was really good for me. It was just a great time with the family. We went on eight separate holidays and they were probably a little bit overdue. I was still keeping an eye on footy because I love the game. When the opportunity presented to join West Coast, a club I certainly supported as a young girl myself, it was a pretty exciting opportunity, so I absolutely jumped at that and just really hungry to get to work.”
Cowan said her entire family had been welcomed to the fold, with her children Albie, 10, and Milly, 8, getting involved.
“Albie likes to make sure that the girls stay well hydrated, running water on a Saturday,” Cowan said. “It’s a very welcoming club. Not just myself, but my whole family, which is very important to me.”
West Coast’s pre-season officially starts on November 25 but Cowan is already spending plenty of time at the club as players complete a voluntary program.
She is excited by the game plan Dwyer has put together.
“It’s a club that’s had at least three years preparing for what they are going to embark on in 2020,” Cowan said. “Led incredibly well by Adam Selwood, Luke Dwyer and Trevor Nisbett as well, it’s a pretty exciting program to be part of at such a professional and successful club that have really embraced me and the skillset and the experience that I bring.
“Right now, it’s just connecting and building relationships with everybody, right from the playing group through to our support staff that we’ve got down at the club, and just getting to know individuals and groups of people and being around each other is really important.
“Luke has done an incredible amount of work. Sitting back and watching a lot of AFLW and women’s footy over the years, he’s pulled together something that’s really exciting for us to coach and implement with our group.”
Cowan has been given the role as forwards coach and is excited to work with a talented group.
“I’ve certainly got a lot of experience in the WAFL and AFL roles I’ve had previously through the midfield and a bit through the defence,” she said. “It’s a really exciting challenge for me personally to take on the forwards and have that as a key focus. I’m really looking forward to that.”
“It’s amazing how quickly this group has gelled already. There has been a great feeling amongst the group, players and staff at the club. No doubt we’re building something pretty special here.”