The new NSFA Female Football Strategic Plan – What’s Best for Her – aims to reaffirm and energise our commitment to developing female football within the region.
“There has been a lot of fantastic work done in our association, but to really lift the trajectory and get more people involved we needed to create a vision,” explains Eilidh Mackay, NSFA’s in-house champion of the female game and creator of What’s Best for Her.
“It falls under the broader strategy (for the association), but it needs a specific plan with outcomes to continue the upward trend in quality and representation.”
Developed in consultation with various members in our footballing community, the strategy also draws experience from Eilidh’s multiple roles within the sport, including but not limited to:
- NSFA Representative Programs Manager
- Female Football Working Group Coordinator
- Northern Tigers Girls SAP Technical Director and Women’s Under 17’s Coach
- Chair of the Football NSW Women’s Standing Committee
- Met Far North State Titles Coordinator
- XLR8 Programs Manager
- NSFA Women’s Select Coach
The central pillar to the strategy is an Inclusive and Empowering Culture, largely driven by the continued growth of the NSFA Female Football Working Group.
“There’s been people in our clubs doing wonderful things, and through the Female Football Working Group they can share ideas and support each other rather than feeling like they’re working on their own,” Eilidh explains.
“By knowing the association is there to back them, FFWG members feel confident in pushing for change at their clubs.”
“The collaboration between that also happens is amazing – a good example this year is Kissing Point and Turramurra United joining together to enter teams in Diamond League and meet the needs of their players.”
Eilidh reflects on last year’s Female Football Week as an example of what can be achieved by having everyone pulling in the same direction.
“Out at the grounds and on social media, everywhere you looked there was a focus on female football.”
“We had events from the association, Northern Tigers and the member clubs – now the goal is to try and do that all year-round.”
With her extensive experience within coaching, in particular within the Northern Tigers Girls SAP Program, Eilidh has developed the NSFA Female Coach Mentoring Program.
“Within GSAP we have a great environment for the coaches where they feel supported and bounce ideas off each other,” she explains.
“I wanted to bring that same idea to grassroots coaches and give them the chance to further their development.”
“We have a range of coaches involved, from more experienced development coaches to teenagers and parents just starting out.”
The program kicked off in March with 24 local coaches to sign up but has already bolstered its ranks to 34 during the season delay.
Through her position as Chair of the Football NSW Women’s Standing Committee, Eilidh has been able to share initiatives like the FCMP with other associations throughout the state.
“NSFA is really leading the way through what we’re doing on the ground,” she explained.
“We’re very fortunate to have female football at the front of a lot of people’s minds when it comes to decision-making.”
“This year three of our clubs have female presidents and three of our board members are also female – I think that’s a sign of the culture we’re creating.”
“There’s still a way to go of course, but we’re sharing what has worked for us with whoever wants to listen.”
Contact Eilidh if you are interested in the Female Coach Mentoring Program: firstname.lastname@example.org.