After an extensive and thorough process, the VAFA is pleased to announce former St Bernard’s coach, Paul Groves as the coach of the Senior Big V Women’s side in 2023.
Groves, the 2018 AFLW Premiership coaches credentials saw him best suited to guide the competition’s leading talent against the Perth Football League on Saturday, July 15.
The position coaching the Big V is not lost on Groves, who has taken a group of talented girls to the promised land in the Western Bulldogs against the powerhouse of the Brisbane Lions.
“It’s a huge honour.” Groves told VAFA Media.
“There is a feeling now of a responsibility to create an enjoyable and dynamic program over the next few months that culminates in obviously a win, but a connection for the women with other players from all the clubs.”
“In the VAFA environment there is nothing better than getting the opportunity to wear the Big V and then play against a teammate the next week.”
“Being able to make connections with different players and coaches is something that all involved in the program will take away and who knows when those will pop up in the future.”
Groves took over the reins at St Bernard’s at the conclusion of the 2019 VAFA season, was forced to wait 12 months to debut his troops in William Buck Premier. He coached a total of 29 games.
The Big V Women’s side is undefeated since its inception into the competition in 2017. Three matches for three victories with an average winning margin of 79 points.
Away from his coaching roles, Groves has been fortunate to wear the Big V during his playing days with St Bede’s. He understands the significance and importance of representative footy in the VAFA.
“You get to keep a jumper with the Big V on it that you played in!”
“It’s an acknowledgement of the season you have played so far from the selection committee that you are in the best VAFA players currently.”
“The opportunity for women to gain exposure to games of higher intensity and demands enable the recruiters and those involved at AFLW clubs to have match vision for the future on file.”
“Luckily I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity as a player and the experience provided through those coaches like Dean Anderson, Stu Powell, Simon Lethlean, Tom Stafford who are passionate VAFA football people, was amazing.”
Groves will have the opportunity to hand pick the most talented women in the VAFA across William Buck Premier Women’s through to Division 4 Women’s.
VAFA CEO Jason Reddick was thrilled with the appointment of Groves to the coaching position “Paul has a proven track record in leading elite Women’s teams, evidenced by his AFLW Premiership success as senior coach with the Western Bulldogs.” he told VAFA Media.
“Paul also has a passionate connection to the Amateurs as a previous St Bernards senior coach, which was a great motivating factor in his acceptance of the role.”
The Big V selection committee will begin its process at the conclusion of this weekend (Round 3 of the VAFA season) before the squad of players is announced in the coming weeks. All clubs will be invited to formally nominate players to be considered.
The VAFA will host the Senior Women’s representative match during the VAFA bye weekend on Saturday 15th July.