AFL Townsville Senior Women’s Premiers the Thuringowa Bulldogs have named the coach who will steer them through the 2019 season as they look to build on last year’s success.
The Bulldogs have selected Club man and passionate ladies’ football advocate Matt Mackinnon as the team’s new head coach. “I’m excited and honoured to take on the Head Coach role of the Bulldogs Women for the first time,” he said.
“Winning the Premiership last year was an amazing achievement, but we know we have a lot of work to do before we can even think about going back-to-back and we won’t be wasting our energy on that.”
The Bulldogs pulled off a 13-point Grand Final victory over flag favorites Hermit Park Tigers who had gone in previously undefeated into last year’s Grand Final.
Premiership Coach, Steve Zahra did not nominate to return due to personal reasons and the Premiers will also have a new-look leadership group in 2019 having fare-welled Captain Madison Goodwin to pursue her professional football future as well as losing some other key position players to relocation.
Mackinnon, originally from Victoria, played Australian Rules from an early age but was away from the game for many years due to deployments while serving in the Australian Navy.
Mackinnon returned to the field in AFL Masters and has been a consistent presence in the Bulldogs’ junior coaching ranks since his very first day at the club in 2013, when his son began playing under 10’s.
He went on to accept the Senior Women’s Assistant Coach role in 2017 and again in 2018 which culminated in two straight grand final appearances.
“I’ve learned a lot about coaching and the Women’s game over the past two years,” he said.
“We have a really good core of ladies returning this year and we’re seeing great interest and new players coming to training every session.
“I’ll be taking a skills-based approach into the season, so we welcome anyone to come along for a run, even if they’ve never watched the game or played before.
“I’m hoping for a competitive season and I’m sure Hermit Park will be out to avenge their loss, but I also want this year to be about teamwork, camaraderie and just enjoying playing footy.”
Thuringowa Bulldogs President Tony Burke said Mackinnon was deserving of the opportunity to take the helm of the Premiership side.
“Matt is a dedicated football man who has already given so much of his time and knowledge to this club through many years of coaching juniors,” he said.
“The Ladies’ gutsy Grand Final win last year will remain a memorable day in our club’s history and we look forward to watching Matt and his team build on that success.”
Bulldogs Senior Men’s and Women’s Training has commenced for 2019 at Riverway every Tuesday and Thursday from 5.45 pm.
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