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The VAFA is delighted that one of our own in St Kevin’s senior assistant coach Peta Searle has been appointed as the first female coach to an AFL club when it was announced earlier this week that Peta will join St Kilda as a development coach. 
Peta is well known within the Australia football coaching ranks and is one of Victoria’s most decorated female football coaches. As her impressive football CV shows, Peta played the game for 15 years, and she became the first ever Victorian Women’s Football League (VWFL) coach to lead the Darebin Falcons to five consecutive premierships from 2006 – 2010. Her other coaching accolades included her appointment as defensive assistant coach at Port Melbourne VFL working under Gary Ayres for two years between 2011- 2013, VWFL State coach and senior coach of the Western Bulldogs women’s AFL team, she has also been involved at TAC Cup level.
This season she was appointed senior assistant coach at St Kevin’s Old Boys who were rapt to have her on board working under senior coach Daniel Harford, Peta was responsible for the backline. 
This week Peta created history and achieved her dream as she became the first ever female development coach at an AFL club. As a part of her new role, she will oversee the Saints player academy, which is designed to fast track the advancement of the club’s younger players. 
St Kevin’s senior coach Daniel Harford had this to say about Peta’s appointment, “I couldn’t be more excited for Peta! She has made a huge impact with us in a very short time and while we are certainly going to miss her expertise and knowledge at SKOB, the fact that she has been chasing this dream for many years and now finally achieved it is just brilliant! 
“Peta is a passionate and terrific coach both on game day and at training as a teacher. This is a red letter day for football and I’m sure I speak on behalf of the entire SKOB community when I say we couldn’t be more proud. From day one Peta made her mark, the affect it had on defence was immediate as was the respect of the players, supporters and committee” said Harford. 
Peta had this to say about her time at St Kevins “I would like to extend a big thankyou to the SKOB community for their continual support and encouragement towards myself and my family. The Searle’s will miss their warmth, smiles and of course above all the tractor rides. As Paul Murphy says once an old boy, always an old boy and I am certainly that” said Searle
The VAFA and the St Kevin’s Old Boys Football Club wish Peta every success in her new role. Good Luck Peta.