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AFLW: Gowans to lead by example

Building belief and trust among the players is the first priority for North’s newly appointed AFLW coach, Scott Gowans.

“As a head coach that will be my first thing - to develop that amongst the playing group,” Gowans said.

“It’s probably a once in a lifetime opportunity to come to a great club like North and be able to be a part of setting something up that’s really building from the ground up.

“I think it’s really important that everyone who comes in contact with the program at North leaves a better player, a more resourced staff member or more importantly, a better person." 

With four years’ experience coaching women’s football, Gowans has refined his leadership style and is confident he can quickly create a successful team.

“North has got really good foundations,” he said.

“The club has worked on the Melbourne Uni connection since 2010, but essentially we’re building something for AFLW and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

“It’s a very different field. You can get a guy that’s 25-years-old in any league in Australia and most have played a certain number of games - they would be roughly about the same barring injuries - but in female footy, you might draft a 25-year-old that’s an elite athlete that has no footy experience, so it’s a very different thing from teaching game plans as it is in the male space.”

Gowans’ wholistic, simplified approach is arguably what makes him such a strong addition for the club. 

“I’m really big on learning and that just doesn’t go for the playing group, that goes for staff and the players," Gowans said. 

“Being more simplistic with your structures and making sure that learning is done at a pace and in different styles that each player needs rather than just rushing something, we need to hold back a little bit and just develop it.

“I think that is what you do as a coach - you take little bits and pieces out of each club that you’ve been at, whether that’d be male or female, some good, some bad, and you just take it and run with it.

“I’m really looking forward to the whole experience, I know it will be great.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs