Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

KITCHING BACK TO HELP NPL WOMEN; Ex-National Player Displays Ipswich Pride Keen to Develop Region

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

KITCHING BACK TO HELP NPL WOMEN; Ex-National Player Displays Ipswich Pride Keen to Develop Region

Article excerpt

DAVID

LEMS

david.lems@qt.com.au

AS a former international goalkeeper Belinda Kitching is proof Ipswich-bred footballers can reach the highest level.

She played 34 matches for the Australian Matildas and represented her country proudly at the 1999 World Cup.

Nearly 18 years later, Kitching is back in familiar Ipswich territory encouraging the next generation of female footballers to chase their dreams.

As recently appointed head coach of the Western Pride senior women's team, Kitching is on a mission to work closely with the club's under 17 and under-15 girls teams to give the players every chance of improving and progressing.

Her Ipswich pride shines through as she talks about the potential of players lining up for Pride teams in the National Premier Leagues state competition.

"We've got an opportunity just to make sure we look at the area that we've got and then build from there as well,'' Kitching, 39, said.

"I want to just make sure you reinterate through your players, saying 'it doesn't matter where you are from, there's always opportunities'. It's just about how you can develop them and push yourself at those opportunities.

"And that's part of my role too. I want to help with that.''

She supports the NPL state league concept of developing players for higher level football.

"I think it's a wonderful idea,'' she said. "And once everyone can grasp the benefits of it, you'll start seeing the league really develop throughout the whole state.''

She said although a lot of work still had to be done, the signs were positive.

Since retiring as a player, the Ipswich product increased her coaching credentials by obtaining her C Licence four years ago and completing her B Licence requirements last year. She also did some representative coaching on the Fraser Coast.

She welcomed the next coaching challenge in the NPL, working with the region where her career flourished.

"I've got a lot of experience from the great coaching mentors that I've had in my playing career,'' she said.

"So all I want to do is give that back into the group in a way that these girls can become better footballers. …

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