Today as part of our Female Football Week we would like to highlight and acknowledge Mercedez Hinchcliff who is the U11’s Pinks Coach and Coordinator for Bulli Junior Football Club.
Mercedez Hinchcliff is currently the coach for the U11’s Pinks at Bulli Junior Football Club, as well as the team coordinator. She has been involved with the club since 2014 in various roles.
She began coaching her daughter’s team in 2016, which was a group of all 4–5-year-old female players.
“My husband always coached my son’s football team, and I thought my daughter should be able to have the same experience with me,” she said.
“I had never played soccer before, but I learnt through asking questions, watching YouTube videos and attending numerous coaching courses that were run by Football South Coast.
“Our team manager is also a female and has been by my side since we started six years ago. I believe that it is super important for the players to see female dominant coaches and managers running training sessions and games as I believe that you cannot be one unless you see one.”
Mercedez has been able to create a safe and inclusive community, where she has attracted several females to continue their football journey, as either a club representative or player.
A few years ago, the committee of Bulli Junior Football Club were successful in petitioning an all-girls competition in U8’s within Football South Coast.
“We currently have two very full all-female teams in U11’s and I hope they continue to carry this on into the competition levels,” she said.
Like herself, Hinchcliff believes that it is crucial that the whole of the community has positive female role models for all players to look up too, in the hopes that one day they can recruit many more female coaches and managers.
“I think having events such as Female Football Week can definitely help further all girls to want to play football,” she said.
Hinchcliff has been a massive inspiration to all female’s associated within the club and has given a lot of her time into her players to ensure they receive nothing less than the help and support they deserve.
“Football has a unique ability to help boost a girl’s self-confidence and esteem, whilst learning self-discipline and how to effectively work as a team,” she said.
“These are life skills that can help shape the future of all players in any activity or sport they participate in.
“My advice for other females contemplating on potentially becoming a coach… jump in! If you love the game and can commit your time, there is nowhere else you would rather be than surrounded by football.”