Football Queensland is excited to announce Katrina Appleton as the Female Coach of the Year as part of the 2022 Female Football Week Awards.
Appleton was nominated in recognition of her work as coach of a MiniRoos team at Saint Eagles Souths FC, with her dedication and commitment to the club and the children she coaches described as “unparalleled.”
“I’m very honoured and I’m very honoured because I don’t see myself as doing anything special,” Appleton said.
“I’m very lucky to work with the kids that I’m currently coaching. Our club is so great. They have such a great support network for anyone that does want to step up and be a coach.”
Putting her hand up to coach the MiniRoos side last year, Appleton was keen to contribute to the grassroots game, drawing on her passion for football and her own experience as a former player.
Since taking on the role Appleton has become extremely well-respected by the young players and parents alike, not only having fun along the way but putting in the hard yards to vary sessions each week and ensure the players are never bored.
“I love everything about grassroots football. I took this opportunity as I have played previously, and I love the game of football in a fun, safe, fair environment where everyone gets to play.
“I played a lot of football in our backyard with my sons and I thought I would just step up and help out.
“I’ve been coaching for two years, and I love coaching MiniRoos and watching the development of the players from their first game experience, to celebrating their first goal.
“I love seeing and building from their first touch of the football, to being able to build the skills. It’s amazing to watch. That’s what gives me a lot of joy.”
While teaching football skills is important to Appleton, she’s also committed to developing the young players by instilling values and lessons that they can take with them through life.
Appleton has also gone out of her way to help players overcome their fears both on and off the field while encouraging them to be considerate and respectful of their teammates and opponents.
“I think the most important thing about football is what you learn on the field, kids are able to take it off the field as well,” she said.
“It’s really bringing lessons that you learned throughout football, in training that they can take with them.
“So for instance, it is about developing skills early, ensuring you stay active, but it’s also about how to be gracious and respectful to the other teammates and to your own teammates.
“It’s not only just football skills, it’s life skills.”
Being a mum herself, Appleton offered encouragement to other women who wish to take the leap into coaching.
“Give it a go. There’s a lot of support there and it’s fun,” she explained.
“It’s something that you get a lot out of. It’s the connections you get with other little kids and you’re actually making a difference to not only a child, but a community as well.
“Coaching MiniRoos, anyone could step up and do it. There’s a lot of support and programs to help people if they’re interested in doing that. Just have a crack.”
As Female Football Week continues, more award winners will be recognised across the coming days to acknowledge the valuable contributions of individuals and clubs across the women’s game in Queensland.