Female Football Champions: Coaches


Throughout 2023 Female Football Week, Football NSW is highlighting the contributions of various members of our football community. Coaches Amanda Marino, Theodora Fokas, Briana Wong, Bernadette Blake and Marilinda Winter have been nominated by their local representatives for their service to the game!

Amanda Marino – Forest Rangers

Amanda has dedicated many years in increasing female participation at her local club as well as providing them with opportunities to progress in their football careers. She is a role model to other female coaches, demonstrating that age is no boundary in following your dream. She was the first female coach to hold a C Diploma for coaching in our district and is now completing her B Diploma in coaching. Amanda is a coach mentor and is highly respected in our community as a female football ambassador and she won a volunteer award in 2022 for her work and participation in female football.

Comments from players: Amanda is a hardworking coach and role model for our team. She saw the greatness in me and helped me perform my absolute best in ever aspect of the game. Coach Amanda is a loving, caring, and very compassionate coach who is very committed to helping us improve in many certain areas in our football skills. She is always pushing us to be the best we can and never stops trying. Amanda makes our training sessions more enjoyable and helps the team connect more and come together as one. She loves to have a joke and never fails to make us laugh and smile. She helps us to become fit, committed and form connections with our team.

Theodora Fokas – St George FC

Theodora Fokas has been with St George FC for five years. During that time, she has nurtured and developed her team from the U10s, all the way to currently the U14s.

Theodora developed a foundational knowledge of the game, its structure and strategies from the U10s. She has scaffolded that knowledge and developed skills through repetition, commitment and a love for the game and coaching.

Her players understand the game, and their valuable contribution to the team. Theodora has established her mark on the club as a leading female coach, supporting female coaches and advocating through her coaching and football interactions the importance of females developing and supporting female footballers.

Briana Wong – Hurlstone Park Wanderers

At the age of 16, Briana Wong represents everything that you would ever want from a football champion. Briana began her footballing career with Hurlstone Park Wanderers as a junior player, but very quickly began helping out as an assistant coach for her younger brothers’ teams, showing amazing leadership at a very young age. Such was her leadership she was our youngest ever “mini-ref” (game leaders for u6-u9 games) and then when Football Canterbury moved to the Game Leader model (which was based largely on the program in place at Hurlstone Park Wanderers) Briana was our first qualified and certified game leader. She has since taken on being a Game Leader mentor, supporting new Game Leaders in training every weekend.

In addition, Briana has developed her coaching skills. Over the past two years she has been a coach for Sydney FC and Football Canterbury Skills Clinics and school holiday camps on a regular basis. At Hurlstone Park Wanderers she is the lead coach for our MiniCubs program running on Saturday mornings for 3-5 year olds. This is a very successful program with more than 40 young players. Briana is at the park every weekend providing support and encouragement to these newest footballers, with skill and expertise. She now leads a group of four young minicubs coaches. Briana is a wonderful ambassador for football, as a player, a coach and a volunteer. At Football Canterbury’s Centenary Celebration, Briana was an outstanding member of a panel discussing female football and her passion for playing, coaching and volunteering was a highlight of the event.

Bernadette Blake – Football Wagga Wagga / Tolland Wolves FC

Bernie is a mum of five and has been playing soccer for almost 35 years. She is currently the women’s head coach, she plays, her children play, she coaches junior teams, is the club’s junior VP and has previously been the treasurer, seniors VP and more. Bernie returned to women’s football this year after playing in the men’s first and reserve grade competition last year, where she was named the associations best player for men’s reserve grade. She has previously played men’s football before in the competition.

Bernie played at high levels in Adelaide and QLD before having a family. She has just about done it all, but doesn’t stop – she keeps giving to the game every year. This season she is lucky enough to coach and play alongside her eldest daughter. She is a tireless volunteer off the field and is synonymous with women’s football in Wagga.

Marilinda Winter – Manly Warringah Football Association/Manly Vale Football Club

Marilinda is a fun, nurturing, skillful, dynamic and compassionate female coach. Marilinda has coached grassroots football for boys, girls and WPL, is the Club Coach Coordinator at MVFC and has completed her C Licence. Currently coaching the w18/1 girls, Marilinda has had great success with these girls since w10, proven by their record of winning the league every year since w12.

Marilinda created and successfully implemented a Coaching Assistant Trainer (CATs) program at Manly Vale FC where each year she mentors approximately 20 junior players (majority girls) to be assistant coaches by allocating them to junior teams and helping their progress throughout the year. With Marilinda’s assistance, other clubs in our association are now implementing this program.

As a coach mentor for our association, Manly Warringah Football Association, Marilinda has mentored coaches from all clubs in the Future Coaches Program as well as being instrumental in devising and delivering a ‘How to Coach Females’ course.

Female Football Week Events

Community clubs and associations across the state are running an array of events during FFW including Come and Try events, Coaching Courses, Gala Days and more.

Check out the full event list on our website to see what’s on near you!

Female Football Week Hub