- Dani Laidley wants to coach West Coast Eagles AFLW team
- Confirmed he won’t chase a coaching role in the men’s game
- Dean Laidley was head coach of Kangaroos from 2006-2009
Former North Melbourne coach Dani Laidley is eyeing a groundbreaking return to coaching after confirming interest in the vacant West Coast AFLW senior role.
Laidley, 56, revealed she had spoken to Eagles players at Mineral Resources Park on Wednesday as part of the build-up to AFLW Pride Round this weekend.
It comes after the Eagles parted ways with senior coach Michael Prior last week after a disappointing 2-6 start to the season, with interim coach Rohan McHugh taking the reins for the final two games.
Laidley, who splits her time between Melbourne and Perth, said she was prepared for ‘any case scenario’ to return to coaching with an AFLW team.
The Kangaroos premiership player in 1996 also confirmed she was not pursuing a coaching return in the men’s game.
Former North Melbourne coach Dani Laidley is eyeing a groundbreaking return to coaching after confirming interest in the vacant West Coast AFLW senior role
It comes after the Eagles parted ways with senior coach Michael Prior last week after a disappointing 2-6 start to the season (Laidley, is pictured with partner Donna Leckie)
‘(My partner) Donna and I have been really thinking about what our future holds, and being a passion of mine, I’ve sort of been ready for about 12 months and even actually this AFLW season, I was asked to do a coaching role at one of the Melbourne teams, but I couldn’t because I was contracted for the doco,’ Laidley told SEN on Thursday.
‘People have connected the dots – well, West Coast have got a position available.
‘Yes, I want to coach again, but let’s not put the cart before the horse. It’s very easy to connect those dots, but it’s true.
‘It’s been a few years now in the making, and as I said, West Coast is the only club at the moment that don’t have a coach for their women’s team, and they may possibly go with the interim coach, who knows?’
Laidley said she had missed the ‘cut and thrust’ of a role in football but was confident her eight-year absence from the game did not mean she would be too far out of touch with modern coaching trends.
After coaching North Melbourne from 2003 to 2009, Laidley held assistant coach roles at Port Adelaide, St Kilda and Carlton over the next six seasons before leaving the Blues in 2015.
‘I’m just being prepared, if you like, for any case scenario. I have missed the cut and thrust of week-to-week performance,’ she said.
‘In the corporate world, you don’t get that win and loss each week.
Laidley coached the Kangaroos men’s team from 2003 to 2009 at Arden St – he also won a premiership at the club as a player in 1996
‘I miss that cut and thrust of competition. Coaching is coaching. The game’s changed – (but) it hasn’t changed that much, and it tends to go in circles.
‘I feel like that I have all those skills…and I think I’ve got a really good understanding of watching a lot of AFLW.’
Laidley said she had a ‘great morning’ speaking to the Eagles players ahead of their Pride Round match against Adelaide on Sunday.
‘(Wednesday’s session) was organised many months ago. It is a great round in AFLW this weekend across the board, and a good friend of mine organised me to go down and speak to the girls about Pride Round and my journey,’ she said.
‘A bit about being your authentic self, about acceptance, about inclusion, so that’s what that was about. It was actually really good.’