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It’s finally official – Peta Searle will make history as the first St Kilda AFLW Senior Coach.

A lifelong Saints fan, Searle was brimming with pride when asked what the appointment meant to her.

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“I am super excited and very privileged to be the one taking charge of the inaugural women’s team,” Searle said.

I grew up watching footy at Moorabbin, so be able to bring footy back here through our women is really close to my heart.”

Searle joined the Saints in 2014, armed with a coaching resume to rival most. After a ten-year playing career, Searle coached Darebin women’s team to five premierships in just six years.

From there, she held positions at various clubs including the Western Jets, Port Melbourne and St Kevin’s.

Since joining St Kilda, Searle has heldseveral development coaching roles, however 2018 saw her reunited with women’s football in the role of Head of Female Football Pathways and VFLW Senior Coach.

Now charged with cultivating the culture of an entirely new team, Searle said she was up for the challenge.

“It’s a really important job, but it’s really exciting to bring good footballers and good people into the club and give them the opportunity to wear the red, black and white and develop the foundations of a really sustainable future.”

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Having already signed Ali Brown, Isabella Shannon, Molly McDonald, Ali Drennan, Darcy Guttridge, Rhiannon Watt and Selena Karlson, Searle said the list is taking shape nicely.

“I’m really excited about the list,” Searle said.

It’s been great to get some of our Southern Saints players back. They’ve been important to the spirit that we’ve created."

"Going off and having some experience in the AFLW season will see them bring that experience back, which will be really important for some of the young kids we’re going to draft. 

“We’re also going to have some great youth, as well as exceptional leadership; we’ve really gone and got some great footballers who will really help drive our club forward.”