Melbourne Demons great Jeff White has signed on as coach of the Queensland state women’s team for 2014.
The former number one AFL draft pick will take the reins for Queensland’s clash against Tasmania to be played as a curtain-raiser to the Tasmania State League (TSL) vs. North East Australian Football League (NEAFL) clash at Bellerive Oval on Saturday June 21.
White’s distinguished AFL career spanned 14 years and 268 games. He was named All-Australian in 2004 and was selected for Victoria several times.
He brings to the role four years coaching experience with the Gold Coast SUNS Reserves as midfield assistant coach and ruck coach.
Despite some nerves over his first tilt in the female football space, the 37-year old says he is looking forward to the challenge.
‘I’m slightly nervous, but excited,” said White.
“Female footy is growing in leaps and bounds and the girls are very serious about the game.
“I think it’s great for AFL that we’ve got so many women playing and being involved in the sport.”
AFL Queensland CEO Michael Conlan said the signing was a major coup for Queensland.
“Jeff is a 268-game veteran and a Melbourne icon and we are thrilled to have him on board,” said Conlan.
“His expertise and knowledge will be invaluable.”
The women’s match will create history as the first female match to be played as part of a state representative double header.
“AFL is one of the fastest growing female sports in Australia and currently there are over 40,000 participants in Queensland alone,” said Conlan.
“This match is another major step forward in acknowledging our talented female players.”
Training will commence this week with final team selection to take place following the women’s all-star match at Burpengary on June 8 which rounds out the State Triple Header featuring QAFL vs. VAFA and South Queensland vs. North Queensland.