MICHELLE Cowan has stepped down from her role as coach of Fremantle’s women’s side.
The Dockers said Cowan had been in talks with club officials about extending her contract beyond this month, but decided to pursue other opportunities.
While passionate about the role, she said it was an easy decision because it meant she could spend more time with her family.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to be the inaugural AFLW coach at Fremantle and I will be forever grateful to the club for giving me this opportunity,” she said.
“It has been an exciting time in the development of the national women’s league, and to have played the first AFLW game in front of over 40,000 spectators at the new Optus Stadium was a thrill for the whole club.
“I have immensely enjoyed working with the playing group and Fremantle staff over the last two seasons.
“I have complete confidence that the club will continue to build on the foundations we have laid, and I wish Fremantle well for the upcoming season and beyond.”
Cowan was appointed senior coach in July, 2016, bringing with her a wealth of experience.
She kick-started her career as a WA-based scout and match analyst for Geelong in 2000.
She previously held roles as senior coach of the WA youth girls team and the WA women’s team, and arrived at Fremantle following a stint as a development coach with the Melbourne Demons.
Unfortunately that experience did not translate into wins, with the Dockers finishing seventh in the AFLW’s opening two seasons with just four wins across 14 games.
Fremantle chief executive Steve Rosich said Cowan had made a significant contribution to the club and competition.
“A review of our AFLW operations, chaired by general manager of football operations Chris Bond, is underway and has been tasked to ensure that we are maximising our AFLW team’s performance,” he said.
“The ongoing review of our AFLW operations will now include seeking a new senior coach for our AFLW team.”