St Kilda Football Club, in conjunction with Pepper Money, has announced a new Female Coaching Program to help unlock opportunities for women at all levels within an elite football environment. 

Fifteen women will complete their Level 2 AFL Coaching Accreditation as part of the course, which will feature education from St Kilda AFLW coaches Dale Robinson and Patrick Hill.

The program aims to help prospective female coaches realise their potential through a blend of practical and theoretical learning (both face-to-face and online), ultimately furthering women’s participation in the sport.

Melbourne’s south is one of the fastest growing areas in women’s football, with a record number of participants across both junior and senior leagues.

Gabriella Suriano, one of the participants of the program, said the course was an important opportunity for herself and others to grow their coaching knowledge.

“As a kid, just like the boys, I used to imagine myself kicking a goal after the siren to win the premiership. Back then, it was a realisation that it couldn’t be me at the highest level,” she said.

“As the AFLW started up, I wanted to work with the girls that didn’t get that opportunity to help realise the best version of themselves as footballers.

“The course gives us exposure at a high-performance level, as well as allowing us a great opportunity to expand our network and get to know some other female coaches.

“There is an awesome group of women in the program and there are some fantastic opportunities out there for us to improve our skills and get to know one another.

“Women have so much to give, and if I can give in that regard and convince other women to give to the sport as well, that would be great.”

St Kilda Development Coach and VFLW Senior Coach Dale Robinson said she was excited to have the chance to give back to the game and see more women in footy.

Dale Robinson is a mentor in the Female Coaching Program. Photo: AFL Photos.

"I'm excited for the opportunity to keep growing our female coaching network and being able to share my experience with this group of coaches," Robinson told

"The program is designed to ensure we continue the pathways for women that really want to give back to football and help shape our next generation of footballers.

"I made a personal commitment to be a mentor for other females coaches this year and I am honoured to be an ambassador of this program to support our Academy coaches on their journeys."

Thank you to Pepper Money for continuing to support the growth of our game across our community and grassroots initiatives.