Steve Symonds named as Collingwood AFLW coach

NEW APPOINTMENT: Steve Symonds in action coaching the Norwood women's side. Photo: supplied

NEW APPOINTMENT: Steve Symonds in action coaching the Norwood women's side. Photo: supplied

Former Kimba local Steve Symonds has taken his football coaching career to new heights after being appointed senior coach of the Collingwood Football Club's AFL Women's side.

Raised in Kimba, Mr Symonds played his junior football for Kelly Football Club in its final years before merging.

He has worked in a variety of coaching and development roles through his career and was introduced to women's football when he was tasked with establishing youth girls football in the Northern Territory while working as development manager for AFLNT.

He then took on the establishment of the Norwood Football Club women's side, building a team from scratch to become the inaugural SANFLW premiership coach.

Mr Symonds said he had a passion for player development and had enjoyed the opportunity to develop the Norwood side over the past three seasons while also working with the club's academy.

"That's the kind of challenge I like," he said.

"We're pretty proud of the program we started."

This year Mr Symonds coached Verran footballer Bella Smith to her SANFLW debut for the Redlegs - the first female player from the Eyre Peninsula to play in the state league.

He said Norwood had a strong focus on working with the Eyre Peninsula region to develop the football skills and provide opportunities for local women.

"Norwood's certainly embraced the Eyre Peninsula region," he said.

Mr Symonds' experience developing young players will come in handy in his new role at Collingwood.

The Magpies have struggled over the first few seasons, winning just one match in 2019 after losing several key players to expansion teams.

Mr Symonds said he was looking forward to working with what was shaping up to be a young list in 2020.

"We've got the youngest list in the competition," he said.

"I'm really keen to work with that talent."

He said he had taken the opportunity to coach an AFLW side out of a desire to continue to improve his skills, and he was looking forward to what he could learn working at the biggest football club in the country.

While the 2020 season is still months away, Mr Symonds is already making the move to Melbourne.

This year he will oversee and play a mentoring role with the Collingwood VFLW side through the rest of the winter season.

About half the Collingwood VFLW side is made up of players signed with the club's AFLW team.

Mr Symonds said working with the bulk of his AFLW list in the state league provided a "chance to adapt and get used to the game style".