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Saints name inaugural AFLW coach


St Kilda has announced its inaugural AFLW coach, with Peta Searle set to lead the Saints in 2019.

A lifelong St Kilda fan, Searle admitted to feeling incredibly proud to be given the honour of being at the helm during the Saints' first year in the fledgling competition.

"I am super excited and very privileged to be the one taking charge of the inaugural women's team," Searle told

"I grew up watching footy at Moorabbin, so be able to bring footy back here through our women is really close to my heart.

"It's a really important job, but it's really exciting to bring good footballers and good people into the club and give them the opportunity to wear the red, black and white and develop the foundations of a really sustainable future."

Following a 10-year career as a player, where she won five flags, Searle has become an incredibly successful coach and administrator.

She guided Darebin's VFLW team to five consecutive premierships, and in 2011, Searle was appointed coach of the Victorian State side.

In the same year, Searle was named Gary Ayres' senior assistant coach at Port Melbourne in the VFL.

Searle joined St Kilda in 2014, and during the past five years, she has held several development coaching roles.

In 2018, Searle became Head of Female Football Pathways and VFLW Senior Coach.

The Saints have already made some key signings ahead of the 2019 season, Ali Brown, Isabella Shannon, Darcy Guttridge and Selena Karlson.

"I'm really excited about the list," said Searle.

"It's been great to get some of our Southern Saints players back. They've been important to the spirit that we've created.

"Going off and having some experience in the AFLW season will see them bring that experience back, which will be really important for some of the young kids we're going to draft.

"We're also going to have some great youth, as well as exceptional leadership; we've really gone and got some great footballers who will really help drive our club forward."

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