There is no one more excited about the future of women’s sport at Collingwood than the newly appointed Jane Woodlands-Thompson.
In her first week as the General Manager of Women’s Sport, she admits she is overjoyed to join the club at such a pioneering stage for both Collingwood’s netball and women’s football programs.
“I’m very humbled and extremely grateful for the opportunity to work at a club with such rich history and to be a part of the women’s sporting phenomenon”, Woodland-Thompson told Magpies Netball.
“When the role at Collingwood came along it was a perfect fit for me with both netball and governance in that leadership space.”
A dual championship-winning coach at the Adelaide Thunderbirds as well as the longest-serving coach in the former ANZ Championship, it’s evident Woodlands-Thompson has a strong passion to help make athletes’ dreams come true.
With an impeccable resume, it is clear she never shies away from a challenge. At times she juggled her position as the Head of Sport Development at Westminster School as well as the SANFL Commissioner, all while fulfilling her assistant coaching role at the Thunderbirds and being a mother.
She admits her goals are clear, wanting Collingwood to be the club of choice for all female athletes.
“I want to make everything best-practice in terms of our systems, processes, culture and leadership in order to be the desired destination for all female athletes, and that takes a lot of set up work to put your money where your mouth is”, she said.
While she praised the talent of the Collingwood Magpies netball program, she admitted the 2018 season was disappointing despite great work behind the scenes. But with a new coaching panel and revised playing list, she has high expectations for 2019 and welcomes a fresh start.
“The SSN is about winning and it is senior elite. That’s what our expectations firmly are and we believe we’ve got the list to contest the title.”
Woodlands-Thompson praised the efforts of her longtime coaching rival Rob Wright and is excited to work alongside him.
“We’ve coached against each other before, particularly in my final years, so we always had a terrific rivalry and friendship”, she smiled.
“He and the recruitment team have done an incredible job of bringing together the talent to give us the potential to win. It’s just a matter of us harnessing it and the players leading us in that direction.”
As both the Collingwood Magpies and AFLW teams now head into pre-season, she is excited for what the future has in store and looks forward to watching those teams make history.
“We are really looking to embedding those programs within Collingwood even though we are a new arm of the club.
“It takes time to earn our stripes, but we’re intending to do that.”