Paul Grundy is the Vice-President and Coaching Director at Lindfield FC, and has been coaching in their Diamond League program since it began.
How did you get involved with football? Can you share a summary of your journey so far?
I first played at school in the UK in the mid 70s (showing my age here) and played a bit at Uni and when I first started working in London. I stopped playing when we moved to Australia and only reconnected with the game when my daughter started playing. Brendan Dalton was her coach (showing his age now) and I took on game day duties.
I loved getting involved and started doing my badges after that and completed my C-licence in 2017. I have always coached on the girls side from G8 through to WAA Prems but have settled on G14s for the time being.
How long have you been involved in NSFA Diamond League? Can you explain to the readers what Diamond League is and the evolution of the program while you have been involved?
I have been a DL coach since the Diamond League inception. For me, Diamond League is about providing a quality, supportive and fun environment for the girls to develop their football. It has been great to see the Diamond League program lead the pack across NSW and be ahead of the Mixed Teams (Super League came into being following the success of the girls program).
Why do you believe it is important to provide young female players a good development environment that fosters personal and team growth?
The objectives for our LFC Diamond League program cover more than just developing football skills. The ups and downs that the girls face and being part of a team develops skills that will stay with the girls forever. We want our LFC girls to be strong confident female role model. Many of our girls also go on to coach at the club which helps with spending money as well as giving them valuable experience that will also benefit them in the future.
What initiatives have Lindfield used to help create the development environment at the club?
We complement the NSFA DL season with additional tournaments. All our teams love attending Proctor Cup and Kanga Cup. They are a great way for the girls (and parents) to build strong friendships.
We have a high number of female coaches at the clubs, coaching girls and mixed teams. This creates a great connection across ages with the younger girls able to see their coaches in action !
Our Project 2023, looks to grow the female side of the club across all ages and abilities (amongst other things). We are using the Women’s World Cub as a springboard to grow female football in the club and have some exciting initiatives underway/planned including our Country Cousins tour and a female teams tour to NZ
What do you envision the future of NSFA Diamond League being?
I would love the Diamond League to grow with more clubs/girls getting involved and across more age groups. At Lindfield, we now have two G10 dev squads, and a G8 and G9 squad. In the future, we are looking also to find a pathway for our DL girls into WAA Prems via an U21 women’s squad in Div 2.