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St Kilda appoints Searle

Peta Searle is the AFL's first female assistant coach.
St Kilda Football Club is excited to announce that Peta Searle has joined the Saints as a development coach.

Searle brings an extensive footballing CV to St Kilda, having spent three years as a senior assistant coach with VFL club Port Melbourne while also working in the TAC Cup, the VAFA and the VWFL.

Searle has been a senior coach in her own right, having taken the Darebin Falcons from the bottom of the VWFL to the ladder to five successive premierships as senior coach.

Aside from her football career, Searle has worked as a teacher for the past 18 years.

St Kilda coach Alan Richardson welcomed Searle to the Saints coaching staff.

“At the start of the year we had 27 players on our list with fewer than 30 games experience so player development is vital for our club,” Richardson said.

“We felt Peta was the perfect candidate to join our Player Academy where she will work under Academy Manager Simon McPhee and alongside Player Academy Development coaches Paul Hudson and Lindsay Gilbee.”

St Kilda CEO Matt Finnis said the club was delighted to have secured Searle’s services.

“Peta has a long and distinguished background in football over many years and we are thrilled to have her on board,” Finnis said.

“Whilst our decision to appoint Peta was based on her experience, philosophies and values we do acknowledge and embrace the significance of Peta being the first woman to be appointed to coach at an AFL Club.”

“I’m delighted the combination of her credentials and the opportunity we had in our development program has resulted in this significant day for Peta and for all women who have ambitions to coach in the AFL competition.”

Searle said she was excited to join the Saints’ coaching staff after many years working in elite football programs.

“I am very much looking forward to starting at St Kilda and I feel that I can bring plenty of experience and skill to my new role,” Searle said.

“I understand that there will be some level of interest in my role because I am a female working in a role traditionally held by men, but I am confident and proud that I have been hired because of my football and teaching expertise and I wouldn’t have wanted the job based on any other criteria.”

About Peta Searle:
- Assistant Coach at VFL team Port Melbourne (defence) 2011-13
- Head Coach, Western Bulldogs Womens Team 2012
- Assistant Coach at VAFA team St Kevin’s Old Boys
- AFL Women Woman of the year award 2012
- VFL head coach women’s academy 2012
- TAC Western Jets U16, U18 Assistant Coach 2011
- Head coach Victorian Women’s Team 2011
- All Australian Coach of the 2011 Women’ National Championships 2011
- Victorian Academy Coach 2010
- Five straight Premierships as head coach of Darebin (VWFL) 2006-2010
- Teacher at Brighton Secondary College, teaching Physical Education.