The Australian Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Victorian Branch was formed in December 1987, under the direction of VFL Development Manager Kevin Sheehan, with Allan Jeans as the inaugural president. They were supported by a committee comprised of Vice President Bernie Sheehy, Chris Heverin, Glen Warry, Frank Davis, Ron Roach, Phil Stevenson, Leon Harris, Jim Durnan, Kevin Madden and Terry O’Sullivan.
In April 1988 the association produced the first edition of the Coaching Update newsletter with president Allan Jeans declaring
“I am proud to have been invited to offer my services to a body which will further strengthen the foundations of our game by improving the general standard of coaching and providing the level of coaching necessary for players to achieve their potential”
The Association produced the Coaching Update newsletter from 1988 until the end of 2007 to support coaches throughout Australia, by including articles on skills and drills, planning, conditioning, leadership, mentoring, team play and tactics, sports psychology and youth issues.
In 2008 the AFL began producing the Coaching Edge newsletter and a monthly eNews Coaching Update which is distributed to all accredited coaches throughout Australia. To visit the AFCA Newsletter page Click Here
Between 1996 and 2001, Hawthorn captain and four times premiership coach David Parkin held the position of Chairman presiding over a 10 member executive committee. The Association is administered under the umbrella of AFL Victoria Development. AFL Victoria Development is the development arm of AFL Victoria and links with metropolitan football bodies, the Victorian Country Football League (VCFL), Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA) and various government agencies. Other coach support provided by AFCA includes resources focussing on contact and kicking skills, individual and team drills, coaching seminars and local regional based newsletters.
To support coaches at the community level in clubs, schools and Auskick centres there are 18 regional branches of the Australian Football Coaches Association. The first branch to operate was the Goulburn Murray Coaches Association which was established in 1988 with 257 members in its first year of existence. David Parkin conducted the initial coaches seminar at the Barooga Sports Club, a newsletter was produced and a Coach of the Year function conducted.
Today, each branch is headed up by an AFL Victoria Development Manager and a committee which coordinates a range of coach education activities throughout the season. Each branch aims to be a ‘coaching community’ to provide ongoing coaching ideas, tips and strategies for coaches of all experience. Some key activities include Level One coach education courses, coaching seminars, newsletters, coaching resource centre and the recognition of outstanding coaching through the regional AFCA Coach of the Year awards.
In 2002, Stan Alves, former Melbourne and North Melbourne player and St Kilda coach was elected president and currently occupies that role in the association. The executive committee is made up of representatives from a cross section of football including AFL, TAC Cup, VFL, community football, female, Auskick and the education sector.
In 2006 “With an eye to the future” the AFCA Executive under the guidance of Stan Alves and Anton Grbac coordinated a forum to review of the association’s purposes, future projects, and new programs to be developed for the ongoing education of coaches and their players. Those invited to contribute to the forum on the future of AFCA Victoria included metro and country regional branch committee members, AFCA executive and AFL Victoria development managers.
Some of the key ideas from the forum included development of a club coaching coordinator, review the content of level one and two course to ensure relevance, constructing an AFCA website, creating a stronger relationship with the AFL Coaches Association, and the development of resources.
A highlight of the AFCA calendar year is the annual AFCA Victoria Coach of the Year Awards conducted in November to recognise the efforts of coaches throughout the state and across various levels. Coaches are recognised for these awards after progressing through a regionally based recognition program. At the state awards, coaches are recognised for their outstanding coaching achievements and awarded – Auskick, Junior, Youth, Senior, Female, TAC Cup and VFL Coach of the Year. The association also recognises individuals for their dedication to the art of coaching through a Lifetime Achievement Award.