Glass ceiling broken as Rachael named Scorpions' men's coach
SAWTELL Football Club has come up with a coaching appointment so original and groundbreaking it ranks among the most historic made in local sport.
The Scorpions have appointed Rachael Oberleuter as head coach of Club Coffs Premier League.
Yes, that's the men's team - not the women's team.
President Rod Simpson believes it's the first time a woman has been given this level of first grade responsibility at any club in any of the four major football codes.
"When the coaching position for 2015 was being discussed, we definitely had some quality options in front of us," he said.
"After a lot of deliberation, the club agreed on Rachael who actually has a head start to the role.
"Rachael has been involved in the current premier league playing group for the past four or five years.
"She has been looking after men's reserve grade and assisting with the first grade side over that time."
The new coach is known far and wide for her passion for the club, particularly in the junior development process that now has Sawtell with the biggest roster in North Coast Football.
During 2014, there were 43 teams wearing Scorpions colours which equates to almost 500 registered players.
"Coming in to the new season we have a senior player group that is extremely strong," Simpson declared.
"We are looking to build on the commitment shown by the players in 2014 to see if we can take that next step from finalists to grand finalists and Rachael's appointment as a positive step in that process.
"While she may be the first female to be the full-time coach of a men's premier league first grade side, we are proud the selection was based on her ability, experience and what she can bring to the position.
"It's an awesome sign going forward that the gender gap in sport certainly appears to be narrowing."
Current and new players will have a catch up session at Split Cafe in Sawtell at 4pm this Sunday to discuss plans for the coming season.
Training starts in early January.