GWS vice-captain Alicia Eva has been awarded the inaugural AFL Coaches Association & Coaching Pathway Scholarship for 2019.
The Scholarship program was announced earlier this year as part of the AFL Coaches Association & Women’s Coaching Crusade.
The idea came about the need to support the ambitions of AFLW players and fast-track their development to coach at the highest level.
In 2019 Eva was appointed as the Giants NEAFL Development Coach (Backline) off the back of her coaching roles as Head Coach of the AFL NSW/ACT Under 18 program and as Giants Academy Assistant Coach (Midfield) the previous year.
"I’m so grateful, this is a pretty special opportunity and it means a lot to me," she said.
"Not only is it going to provide me with incredible ways to continue to develop my coaching brain, but will also significantly contribute to my off-field development."
As part of the scholarship, Eva will be afforded incredible opportunities and experiences over the next 12 months which include upskilling through the AFL Coaches Association’s Next Coach Program, a funded position on the AFL Coaches US Study Tour.
She will also have mentorship from current Essendon Football Club senior coach John Worsfold.
Very excited and honoured to be chosen as the 2019 AFL Coaches & Lucky Chicken Eggs Coaching Pathway Scholarship recipient. The scholarship will see me mentored by Premiership player and coach John Worsfold for 12 months (😱🙌🏽); as well as a study tour of the US and a spot in the Next Coach program run by the AFL Coaches Association. Big thanks to the AFL Coaches Association for providing this opportunity for current @aflwomens players, and to @luckychickeneggs for supporting this initiative and bringing it to life! Big thank you to all who helped with my application and to the wonderful coaches and players that have helped in my journey so far. 🙌🏽
“I’m looking forward to completing the Next Coach Program, attending the US Study Tour and having someone as experienced as John as my mentor – already after our first meeting I’m buzzing," Eva said.
Eva’s passion for coaching begun as an 18-year-old when she tapped her Dad on the shoulder to take over the reins from him to coach at her local club.
Over the last nine years, Eva’s hard work, commitment and passion have seen her gain a number of coaching roles and experiences with both male and female teams through the TAC Cup Competition, in the AFL’s National Talent Program, for AFL Victoria’s Youth Girls, and to her current roles.
"Alicia was selected from a strong field of nine, which is a feather in her cap but also a great sign that AFLW players are thinking about a career as a coach," AFL Coaches Association CEO Mark Brayshaw said.
"Alicia’s application left us in no doubt that she's deadly serious about coaching. She has a bright future and we think our Coaching Pathway Scholarship will assist her development greatly."