Football Coaching Life Podcast Recap: Episode Four with Heather Garriock

Heather Garriock was the special guest on episode four of Football Coaches Australia’s ‘The Football Coaching Life’ podcast.

Garriock is perhaps best known for the 130 caps she won representing the Matildas and her expert commentary on Optus Sport. Her international career spread over 13 years and included three FIFA Women’s World Cups, two Olympic Games and three Asian Cups, culminating with a win in China during 2010.

Heather is a member of the Football Australia Starting XI and is the FCA Vice President. She was Head Coach of Sydney United FC (NPL) 2014-17, Canberra United FC (W-League) 2017-20 and was also a Matildas Assistant Coach in 2017.

Speaking with Gary Cole, Garriock details how she initially got into coaching, her coaching mentors, how her coaching has changed over the journey, the influence coaches from other sports had on her career, her most enjoyable moments and much more.

Key Quotes in Episode Three

Why she coaches

“That’s the question I used to ask myself. It’s a hard gig. It’s a lonely job…but you coach because you want to pass on, give back, help, inspire and do what some of your past coaches did for me.”

The influence Tom Sermanni had on her career

“That man has taught me so much about life on and off the field…he just knew what made me tick.”

On the 2010 Asian Cup final and what Tom Sermanni told the girls before the penalty shootout

“It is absolutely pissing down with rain. We’re about to go into a penalty shootout, the first silverware for football in Australia at a major tournament. Tom said ‘we better hurry up with the penalty shootout, we’ve got wheel of fortune back on at the hotel at about 7pm. So make sure you do a good job guys, so I can get back and watch that.’

On her 3 years coaching at Canberra United

“It was a tough period, but I think I needed to go through that. I hadn’t in my (playing) career had to go through many obstacles. But that was a big learning curve.”

A valuable lesson she learned during her coaching career

“Emotional stability. You didn’t have to have it as a player in my opinion, if you wanted to be emotional you could do that on the field and almost get away with it.”

Final piece of wisdom for coaches

“You never know everything…you can learn from everybody.”

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Federal Budget commits $97 million investment for sport programs

The 2024-25 Federal Budget, which was released on Tuesday night, includes more than $97 million over two years to the ASC to extend Sporting Schools, the Local Sporting Champions, and Local Para Champions programs, and participation funding to help more Australians get active.

This two-year extension runs until 30 June 2026 and helps kids of all different sports afford an opportunity to play at a local level if they come from and under privileged background.

Football Australia is a part of the Sporting Schools program, with each state offering participation Officers and local clubs that are ready to implement in-school and after-school programs for students of ages up to Year 8, plus all abilities programs.

Football Australia use this program to link local football clubs with schools to facilitate an ongoing relationship and provide further opportunity for students to continue their football journey outside of school, whether that be MiniRoos Kick Off, MiniRoos Club or Junior Football.

More than 24,000 young Australians will be supported with the Local Sporting Champions (LSC) and Local Para Champions (LSP) grants programs continuing for a further two years.

These are fantastic programs that have supported Australia’s best athletes including many Matildas like Courtney Nevin, Cortnee Vine, Alex Chidiac, Teagan Micah and Clare Hunt.

World Cup veteran’s Caitlin Foord and Ellie Carpenter also rose to success with assistance from the LSC program throughout their junior careers.

Australian Sports Commission CEO Kieren Perkins OAM mentions the importance of this investment to continue critical national sporting programs.

“Once again, I want to thank Minister Wells and the Australian Government for their continued support and investment in Australian sport,” Perkins said in a statement.

“This funding extends critical sport participation programs like the Participation Grant program and Sporting Schools which provides free and fun sporting opportunities to more than two million students each year.

“This follows last week’s announcement of $249.7 million to upgrade the AIS Campus to ensure our athletes have access to the world’s best testing and training facilities, and accommodation ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

This is a fantastic initiative that will benefit football amongst other sports and has a history of helping kids of all skill levels play in their respective sport.

The Federal Budget have put in almost $350 to improve sport, mostly around the 2032 Olympic Games but it is great to see some investment in the world game after the huge success of the Women’s World Cup last year.

The biggest Female Football Week to date draws to a close

Female Football week is at its climax across the country with each respective state firmly involved in what has been a monumental year of growth and perseverance with one of the hottest topics amongst the sporting plethora across the nation.

Symbolising the significant strides in which female football has made down under, off the back of its maiden World Cup hosting tenure.

Football Queensland throughout the grand occasion were busy shining a spotlight upon the continuous growth of participation, encouraging women of all ages to become involved and immersed within the global game.

Football Victoria – Commentary

Football Victoria (FV) celebrated women’s football week in style.

Round 8 of the National Premier League Women’s (NPLW) competition within Victoria was unique throughout its coverage, with every match throughout the round featuring a female commentator.

A monumental feat spearheaded by the FV Commentary team, this was the first time an all female commentary round was executed.

Football Queensland

FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci disclosed his appreciation for the momentous occasion via the FQ website.

“While celebrations like FFW serve as a crucial milestone in FQ’s journey towards achieving 50/50 gender parity by 2027 and helps to further reinforce our commitment to enhancing accessibility and inclusivity, our support is not confined to this week, as we remain dedicated to prioritising our female football community year-round.”

Football Queensland – Award Ceremony

Paying homage to Referees, Club Volunteers, Players and Community Champions of the year was conducted through awards up for grabs.

FQ showcased an award ceremony towards multiple facets of football throughout the state.

A nice incentive dedicated to the recognition and appraisal of the hard work undertaken by different areas of football.

The Female Football Week club of the year was awarded to Central Football Club following their extraordinary contribution to female football within Queensland.

Displayed throughout the clubs commitment to female football, the club are fully dedicated to the advancement of women’s football.

Harvesting a fostering environment throughout the club, alongside the nourishment of young promising female footballers has been symbolised by FQ.

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