Football trailblazer Michelle Cowan is holding out hope of one day joining the Ross Lyon-led coaching panel at Fremantle, but for now she’s fully focused on guiding the Dockers’ women’s team to premiership glory.
Cowan, a former development coach at the Demons, has been appointed the inaugural coach of Fremantle’s women’s team.
The eight-club competition begins next year, and Fremantle chief executive Steve Rosich said Cowan was the standout candidate for the Dockers’ top job.
Cowan started out her coaching journey as a WA-based scout and match analyst for Geelong in 2000.
At the age of 21, Cowan became the first female in Australia to coach at a state level when she landed an assistant role at WAFL side West Perth in 2004.
She went on to perform a similar role at South Fremantle from 2013 to 2015.
The former State golfer and cricketer has also had experience coaching WA’s junior and senior women’s teams, giving her excellent knowledge of the talent available in Perth.
She coached Melbourne’s women’s team from 2013-2016, and was also part of the player development set-up under Paul Roos at the Demons until earlier this month.
Lyon met with Cowan recently, and didn’t rule out the possibility of adding her to his coaching panel.
And although he said it was important for Cowan to concentrate on the women’s team for at least the first 12 months, there’s already been discussions about her joining the men’s panel down the track.
“It’s certainly been discussed,” Cowan said on Monday.
“I’ve still got that passion to work with men and women at the highest level.
“But for me right now, I’m 100 per cent into this women’s team here at Fremantle.
“I’ve got a busy schedule ahead in regards to getting a team together and coaching staff, and getting the whole program up and running.”
Cowan’s first big job is to recruit a swag of players capable of securing premiership glory in the competition’s first year.
But she ruled out making a play for star Demon Daisy Pearce.
“I think Daisy is red and blue through and through. I think she’s going to be staying in Melbourne,” Cowan said.
Cowan, a mother of two, said she was looking forward to learning off the likes of Lyon.
“I’m pretty sure Ross has an open-door policy here,” Cowan said.
“I find him really approachable. I feel comfortable asking any questions.”