Women’s RL World Cup


By Smithy

Where does one (former?) coach start when searching for a meaningful interview of another coach?

“Hey Paul we have an opportunity to do a nice feature story on the Women’s World Cup. What can you tell me?” Pretty awkward by me.

Paul Dyer, Head Coach of Australia’s team,  the Jillaroos starts chatting. Ten minutes later he takes a breath and I check out that I have 6 pages of scribbled notebook pages of offerings from a footy coach who loves his role. In that time he has given me a massive amount of info! But way more impressively he has shown me all those traits you would like to see in any Aussie coach – passion, pride, commitment, possessing a plan that featured intense camps all the way to selection insights for the last round robin fixture versus New Zealand and how he thinks his dedicated and confident green and gold squad can play them again in the WC Final and beat the long odds on title holders to bring home the Cup.

Dyer is qualified to assess and praise. He joined the Broncos at 16 as a keen young footy player who found another path in the sport he loves. Wayne Bennett saw in Dyer that passion that shone through immediately to me across 11,000 miles on a mobile. Dyer started his post playing time in development for the Broncs. He is now head of their Game Development programme and has been in responsible positions for many years.

Typically, as footy goes, he came by the head coach of the Jillaroos  in different circumstances. He contacted his mate Graham Murray when he heard that they had both been sounded out for that position. Paul offered to assist the more experienced Steelers, Mariners, Roosters and Cowboys coach. It happened and the two worked harmoniously towards guiding the dedicated women to this big tournament in the UK.

Disappointingly Muzza has struck a pretty tough time health-wise and is unable to be with the squad. Dyer has taken over, added Fletcher Holmes, Mick DeVere and Michael Hancock to the staff and they are ready to go.

A couple of tremendous performances against weaker squads is not fooling Dyer or his crew as they are all aware that New Zealand look just as capable as they did when they smashed the Aussies up in the final of the previous World Cup.

But Dyer was full on in his praise for the way this squad has prepared. He talked about attention to every last detail and a commitment level from his troops that some of our male equivalents might like to consider in their personal discipline to ensure that as representatives of our country they give it everything they can to beat those Kiwis. He rattles off the attributes and skill levels of his players with eagerness and is clearly in awe of the way they go about their preparation and playing of our great game. Like any proud coach he quickly offered his gratitude for his staff and all those back home who made it all possible and didn’t mind name dropping the attendance and positive comments offered by Kangaroos head coach Tim Sheens and NRL boss David Smith. Greta credit to those two important figures for making this significant step in the acknowledgement and potential growth of women’s RL.

We are keen to our bit too. We will be featuring more stories on the Jillaroos here on smithyspeaks.com.au – match reports and features on the names we hope to help you get to know soon.

Captain and legend of Jillaroos history Karyn Murphy will be a feature story (with Courtney Beaton)  and we will bring you interviews with the star performers and the team’s progression from Coach Dyer through to the final .

Hope you are like me, looking forward to great success and more insights and interviews with these no-longer-overlooked Aussie footballers.