K rock Football

Coventry continues to learn

Geelong’s 2021 AFL coaching staff, from left: David Morgan, Aaron Black, Jess Foley, Paul Hood, Elise Coventry, Daniel Lowther and Josh Finch. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

THE regard in which Elise Coventry is held at Geelong has landed her a role on the club’s AFLW coaching staff.

Coventry, who is five months pregnant, will take on a development position under Paul Hood in a rare turn of good fortune during the 36-year-old’s football journey.

She will join former Cats Aaron Black (forwards) and Daniel Lowther (midfield), as well as Josh Finch (backs), David Morgan (development) and former Adelaide big Jess Foley (ruck/assistant team doctor) as part of Hood’s staff.

A member of Geelong’s inaugural AFLW squad after impressing in 30 VFL games in the Hoops across 2017-18, Coventry suffered a serious knee injury in a practice match before the 2019 season.

She was delisted but retained as a train-on partner in 2020, but with the AFLW season cut short due to COVID-19, the defender again missed the chance to make her AFLW debut.

“The club has been awesome in supporting me, first of all through my rehab and then through that just talked about developing some coaching as well because, obviously, I have more years behind me than I do in front of me,” Coventry said.

“I started that process with VFLW in 2019, and then I had full expectations to play in 2020 and then obviously COVID hit, and our family plans changed a little bit.

“But as soon as I let the club know they have been right behind me with my coaching development and giving me the opportunity to come down and still be involved and help with the players here to develop a bit of the young ones through.

“And even the girls in rehab, because obviously that is where my experience has been the last few years, so just helping through the challenge of being on the sidelines and not in the main group, so the club has been amazing.”

Coventry admits coaching didn’t come on her radar until she spent 2019 on the sidelines.

“I was looking to still learn a lot more about the game because it was so new to me at that stage, and coaching was that opportunity.

“Now that I have been involved and have been able to see it from a few angles as a line coach and now as a development coach; I do love working with the younger players and also the senior players with a few of those things around life balance with work because that was my experience.

“I do see it as a bit of a future, and I am not done with footy, so whatever capacity I can be in I would love to be.”

However, Coventry hasn’t ruled out a comeback at VFLW level in 2021.

I didn’t get enough – two years wasn’t enough,” she said. “Expectation and reality are hugely different.

“But, I’m definitely going to give myself every chance.”

Twitter: @tom_king79