A post on Facebook was enough to get Tom Ellard’s interest in the North Sunshine women’s football senior coaching role.
Ellard, who spent six years playing in the VFL, applied for the role and was successful, with his appointment announced earlier this month.
Having achieved what he wanted on the footy field, Ellard said he wanted to give back and help some others learn at the Western Region Football League club.
“It’s a bit of a challenge and a bit of change up,” he said.
“I have a bit of time on my hand and I decided I wanted to use my knowledge and try and help.
“I had a bit of a chat with Prokick and my dad. As long as it didn’t interfere with my footy and the club was happy knowing that I might have to fly out to America at some stage, I was keen.
“And here we are.”
Having come from a footballing family, which includes Richmond premiership defender Alex Rance, Ellard has always been at home on the footy field.
He spent six years in the VFL including a number of years at Werribee as well as winning a NEAFL premiership recently with the Southport Sharks.
Ellard wants to bring some of that experience to the Roadrunners.
The Roadrunners have had a women’s side since 2018. They won two games that year and three games in 2019. The 2020 season didn’t go ahead due to COVID-19.
He has already jumped on the side’s Facebook group and is starting to plan for the pre-season.
“The vision that I have for my coaching role is to teach the women all about AFL and the different areas in AFL” he said.
“I’m wanting to create a family environment where the girls enjoy every second playing football, I can’t wait to crack in and get started.
“There hasn’t been a lot of success around the club in recent years and hopefully I can help bring some.
“AFLW is a big thing at the moment and it’s an awesome thing to try and bring out the best in the girls.
“Hopefully they’ll enjoy it and I can take their football a bit further.”
For Ellard the move into coaching comes as he steps away from football with his eyes on a new career, punting in America Football.
Ellard has joined Prokick Australia, which was developed in 2007 to help guide and transition Australian athletes to perform at the College/ NFL level.
He said it was a challenge he was enjoying.
“I’m trying to land a scholarship in America through Prokick,” he said. “It’s taken a couple of months to get the gist of it.
“It’s a bit of a change up coming out of a professional system where I’d achieved everything I wanted to achieve
“This is about focusing on schooling as well.”