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The Chase: Can an AFLW 'supercoach' make it a hat-trick?

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SHE'S the very first 'supercoach' of the NAB AFL Women's competition.

Bec Goddard took Adelaide to a premiership in the inaugural season of the competition, losing two matches by just two and three points through the home and away period. 

She followed it up by guiding the Allies through the NAB AFLW U18 Competition undefeated, in a tournament where no final winner was awarded. 

And on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium, Goddard is chasing the perfect coaching season, hoping to lead the Allies to victory over Victoria in the NAB AFL Women's State of Origin clash.

The AFLW season

Goddard was a bit of an unknown prospect to the wider football world, who may had heard of Michelle Cowan or Debbie Lee, but not the spiky-haired coach from Canberra.

The 39-year-old's full-time job as an Australian Federal Police officer was put on hold for the season, where she instantly garnered attention with the obvious close connections she had with her players. 

The Crows were the early pacesetters of the competition, leading the ladder for the first four rounds before dropping two very close games.

While boasting the likes of big stars such as Erin Phillips, Chelsea Randall and Sarah Perkins, it was the Crows' ability to work as a team that impressed, especially as half the group were based in Darwin.

Demonstrating her unique coaching style, Goddard revealed after the premiership triumph she had used the John Farnham's song 'You're the Voice' as inspiration throughout the season, as the players were the voice of the new competition.

(L-R) Randall, Goddard and Phillips celebrate winning the inaugural AFLW Grand Final. Picture: AFL Photos

The Allies - U18 style

The Allies, a combined side made up of the best players from Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory, traditionally battles against teams who have trained together for months.

But at the U18 Championships in July, Goddard once again worked her magic, unifying a team who had only met for the first time three days before the competition started. 

The Allies impressed with their unity and grit, overrunning NSW-ACT in the dying minutes, shell-shocking Western Australia and holding out a physical Queensland side. 

With no winner awarded at the championships, the Allies and Vic Country took out the honours as the only undefeated sides, adding another feather in Goddard's cap.

The Allies - State of Origin

Which brings us to Saturday night's clash.

Goddard will once again be leading the Allies, this time a senior side consisting of the best players born outside of Victoria.

They will be eager to beat the Vics on their home deck. 

With a side containing Katie Brennan, Emma Zielke, Sabrina Frederick-Traub and Chelsea Randall, they could very well get Goddard her third competition win for the year.


Text: Sarah Black | Designs: Kahla Emonson | Stats: Cameron Sinclair

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