NORTH Cairns’ Luana Healey is on the way to becoming a trailblazer in AFL coaching circles.
The Tigers playing-coach, who is also on the Gold Coast Suns playing list, will this weekend be the first female coach at a representative level in Queensland to coach a boys side at the Under-14 Country Championships at Airlie Beach.
After impressing AFL Cape York staff with her instructions and demeanour while coaching her club team, Healey was offered the reigns of the Cape York Crusaders for the tournament and happily accepted the role.
“It gives our boys the opportunity to listen to a different voice with a new fresh approach,” AFL Cape York development manager Sean Hunter said.
“It is great to be able to provide the coaching pathway for Luana, who is really engaging in her football.
“And it is a fresh face to the players.
“Given her rise in coaching knowledge, we thought she would be more than capable to take the boys away.
TRAILBLAZER: Luana Healey with Shannon Shuan, 14, Andrew Karui, 14, and Alwyn Bond, 14, from the Cape York Crusaders. Picture: STEWART McLEAN.
“It is a unique and a great chance for everyone involved.”
This weekend the best Under 14 male talent will converge on Airlie Beach for the 2018 Country Championships.
The Crusaders came into camp yesterday in Cairns before heading to Airlie Beach today, with many of the players having their first training session together as a group.
Healey has led her Tigers to an unbeaten 2018 season and is excited to add another string to her bow coaching boys.
“It is a big privilege and I am really excited to see how the boys go,” Healey said.
“I was coached by people like Rick Hanlon and Jo Butland, they have really influenced me as a coach.
“Everything is a learning experience for me and I am really excited to be apart of this.”