Women’s Coaching Month: Alicia Eva
Alicia Eva was traded to the GIANTS for its second season as one of the best players in the country.
Eva played for Collingwood in the AFLW’s inaugural year, finishing second in its best and fairest and being named in the All Australian squad – quite a feat for a player selected at pick 54 in the national draft.
Arriving at the GIANTS in 2018 – a coup for the club – must have been a culture shock for the now 31-year-old. Eva had gone from one of the country’s largest sporting organisations, to the AFL’s newest in the blink of an eye. She also moved from her home in footy-mad Melbourne to Sydney, where AFL competes for attention in a crowded sporting landscape.
It says a lot about her character, then, that Eva starred in her first season in orange and charcoal. She won the Gabrielle Trainor Medal as the GIANTS’ best and fairest, finishing ahead of Courtney Gum, who was the AFLW Players’ MVP that year, and made the All Australian team thanks to her prolific ball winning ability and hard hitting tackles.
Since 2020, Eva has led the GIANTS with poise, strength and class. Her leadership qualities are second to none. These traits have also helped her as an up and coming coach who has recently been accepted into the AFL’s Women’s Coach Acceleration Program, which aims to women coaches in their progression to senior roles in AFL and AFLW. Others in the nine-person program include Daisy Pearce, Erin Phillips and Emma Zielke.
Alicia Eva on…
…GIANTS’ new AFLW Coach, Cam Bernasconi
“Cam is the perfect coach to take the reins with this list. He’s very strengths based, he knows a lot of the younger girls we’ve recruited out of the Canberra and Riverina region, he’s worked in the Academy space as well.”
…the AFLW draw for Season 7, announced 4 July 2022
“Some say it’s a tough draw, but with AFLW and changing lists and an expansion year, every game is going to be as tough as the next so bring it on.”
“Round three [against the Swans at the SCG] is definitely the big one…and it may be a double-header with an AFL final.”
…starting AFLW in August
“Everyone’s excited for the season, particularly now the fixtures have been released. There are more grounds we can play on, there are stadiums we can play at now, we start the bye week of the AFL finals series, so that’s great too. Ten teams won’t play AFL finals but the AFLW will be starting up so it will be great to see supporters continue their support for the club.
“And of course, long term it means that players will get the summer months off again to be able to spend that Christmas/holiday period with friends and family and switch off.
“I think the people that really get lost in this are the support staff and the admin staff that work at clubs too. With seasons gone by, with the men’s playing in the winter and men playing in the summer, there are staff within every club and the AFL who never had time to switch off throughout the year.”
…prominent women Eva’s been coached by
“Shiloh Curtis coached me in the early days, and she was fantastic. She knew the Xs and Os but she was also a really great people person. And through that I learnt that if you’ve got really great relationships with your players than you can actually give them constructive feedback and players actually take it on board. She taught me that lesson early on in my coaching career.”