West Coast’s AFLW Operations and Wellbeing Manager Michelle Cowan is poised to join the AFLW Women’s Competition Committee before its third 2021 meeting today.

Cowan has copious experience within the men’s and women’s football realms as a coach, before moving into an off-field leadership role in January.

The inaugural Fremantle AFLW senior coach began her career after contacting all 16 football clubs for a coaching offer, and after meeting with Geelong, was appointed as a West Australian based talent scout at age 17.

From there, Cowan’s career in football grew, as she became the first female assistant coach in the WAFL at just 21 years of age with the West Perth Football Club.

After spending time coaching the Falcons, Cowan made a move to the South Fremantle Football Club as a midfield coach, and later in 2013 was appointed as the senior coach of the Melbourne Football Club’s women’s team during the women’s exhibition series.

In that year, Cowan was also named the Football Woman of the Year, as she went on to coach Melbourne for all three years of the exhibition series.

After entering the inaugural AFLW season as Fremantle’s head coach, Cowan finished out the season before being approached by West Coast to undertake the role as Operations Manager and bench coach, as well as mentoring a number of female coaches.

Cowan will be joined at the Competition Committee by Brisbane Lions Head of Women’s Football Breeanna Brock.

AFL General Manager Women’s Football Nicole Livingstone said she was pleased Brock and Cowan will be joining the Committee.
“Both Bree and Michelle are great leaders for their respective clubs and fantastic advocates for women’s football across all levels of the game” Ms. Livingstone said.

“It is great to have people of their calibre joining the AFLW Competition Committee and we look forward to their valuable insights and expertise as we head into Season Six of the Competition.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank departing members Phil Harper (Adelaide Crows), Laura Kane (North Melbourne), Peta Searle (St Kilda) and Alicia Janz (West Coast Eagles) for their contribution as committee members.”

The agenda for today’s meeting will include discussion on laws of the game, competition structure, fixturing and talent programs. The Committee will also be provided with an update on the AFLW Expansion process.

The AFLW Competition Committee members in attendance at today’s meeting are as follows:
Simone Wilkie AO (AFL)                          
Nicole Livingstone (AFL)              
Andrew Dillon (AFL)                            
Brett Murphy (AFLPA)                  
Phil Harper (Adelaide Crows)              
Diana Taylor (Geelong Cats)               
Mark Evans (Gold Coast SUNS)                     
Alicia Eva (GWS GIANTS)                        
Laura Kane (North Melbourne)               
Brendon Gale (Richmond)                                          
Jessica Burger (Collingwood)