Northern NSW Football has confirmed its coaches for the 2023 NAIDOC Cup.
The NAIDOC Cup is for selected Indigenous footballers aged 13 to 16 to represent NNSWF against Indigenous teams from Football NSW.
This year will see NNSWF’s teams feature eight coaches, twice as many as the inaugural year last year.
All coaches identify as First Nations and have varying coaching experience, with the majority holding advanced coaching licences.
Aleshia Lyons (Lake Macquarie City FC), Craig Stoker (Edgeworth FC), Dylan Hugo (Edgeworth FC), Jamie Archibald (Port Macquarie United), Laura Bradford (Minmi Wanderers), Mathew Moncrieff (Kahibah FC), Mick Hugo (Bayside United) and Nadine Page (South Wallsend JSC) will coach the NNSWF teams at the 2023 tournament to be played from 3 to 5 July at Valentine Sports Park, Glenwood.
Lyons said she was proud to be recognised for her coaching ability and her culture.
Lyons, who holds her FA C-Licence and has completed the first half of her FA B-Licence, joined Lake Macquarie City this season where she is coaching the club’s under-11s JDL team.
“For me, coaching in the NAIDOC Cup brings me closer to my culture,” Lyons said.
“My coaching interest sparked as a young teen when I was asked to help the coach out at training with my younger sister’s team. After a few weeks helping, the club president asked if I’d coach an under-6s team for the club as they were looking for a coach and he thought I’d be a perfect fit. Since then I have coached a number of community clubs over the years.
“Over the last four years I have coached a development team at Edgeworth Junior SC which fed all 10 players into the JDL program the following season over two clubs. That same season I also moved into the JDL program as a coach, which is the program I’m coaching in with Lake Macquarie City FC this season.
“In the last 12 to 18 months I have vastly extended my coaching career by gaining a lot more experience. I coached at the first NAIDOC Cup last year, the TSP Program in 2022 and I’m head girls TSP coach in 2023. I also coached the NNSWF under-14s girls at the Singa Cup last year where the girls won the tournament and brought home the big trophy which is on display in the trophy cabinet at NNSWF head office.
“All of which wouldn’t have happened without the ongoing support I have received from Ryan Doidge and Annelise Rosnell from NNSWF as well as Lake Macquarie City FC JDL technical director Adam Linacre and club president Steve Graham. The club have been nothing but welcoming since I joined.
“My advice for anyone who wants to get into coaching is if you have a dream then shoot for the stars. You can achieve anything.”
The NAIDOC Cup coincides with NAIDOC Week, a national week held in July that celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The first NAIDOC Cup was held in 2022 on Awabakal land at the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility.
The 2023 NAIDOC Cup Jersey Competition is still live HERE
NAIDOC Cup is supported by the NSW government under the NSW Football Legacy Program.
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