The Sydney Swans have secured an experienced AFLW coach to head up the club’s inaugural women’s team, with Scott Gowans appointed AFLW Senior Coach and Head of Women’s Coaching Development. The announcement comes as the Sydney Swans pass 4,000 AFLW members, becoming the first club to reach the milestone. In addition, QBE has extended its commitment to the club, becoming the Sydney Swans AFLW foundation Principal Partner. 

It marks three big milestones for Sydney’s AFLW team, which is due to join the competition later this year.

With a strong record in coaching and building teams, Scott Gowans brings a wealth of experience across both the elite and junior levels of women’s football.

As the senior coach of North Melbourne’s first AFLW side, Gowans led the team to 11 wins from 14 games in 2019-2020. He has also held AFLW assistant coaching roles at both Carlton and Collingwood, most recently overseeing the Magpie’s midfield.

Prior to the commencement of the AFLW, Gowans served as the inaugural head coach of the Dandenong Stingrays women’s academy. He also coached the Victorian Country team to a national title at the 2017 AFL Youth Girls National Championships, and in the same year he coached Diamond Creek to a grand final appearance in the VFL Women’s competition.

Gowans said he feels very privileged to be joining the Sydney Swans and can’t wait to get started.

“It’s a great opportunity to be a senior coach at the Sydney Swans and I’m honoured to be able to coach the club’s first AFLW team,” Gowans said.

“I’ve heard a lot about this club and how close-knit the family at the club is, and I want to be part of that, and hopefully build something that will lead us to success.

“Part of my role will be focused on developing coaches and I’m keen to ensure I’m setting that legacy straight away. I’ve been very big on helping female coaches develop and I’ve taken over 20 coaches through to their level two course as a mentor. It’s something I’m really passionate about.”

Scott Gowans. Photo by Phil Hillyard

Sydney Swans Executive GM - AFLW Kate Mahony said the club is excited to have Gowans join the team. 

“Scott has really impressed us with his achievements in women’s football to date, as well as his passion for the game and for mentoring others. We’re thrilled to have someone of Scott’s calibre as our inaugural head coach and leading the development of future coaches in the women’s game,” Mahony said. 

“This appointment marks a significant milestone for our club and enables us to get started on building our list ahead of Sydney’s first AFLW season.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming Scott and his wife Jodie to the Sydney Swans family.”

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Gowans privileged to lead Inaugural AFLW side

Get to know Scott Gowans, the inaugural AFLW Senior Coach and Head of Women's Coaching Development

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Meanwhile, QBE’s commitment will see one of the most enduring partnerships in Australian sport expanded, with the QBE logo to adorn the front of Sydney’s AFLW uniforms on and off the field. 

QBE Australian and New Zealand chief executive officer Sue Houghton said it is a privilege and a thrill to be the foundation Principal Partner for the new women’s team, which will provide a pathway for athletes from the QBE Sydney Swans Academy into the women’s league.

“We’re immensely proud of our history with this club and now we are making history again by being the foundation Principal Partner for the women’s team,” Houghton said.

“We’ve planned for the future together through our support of the QBE Sydney Swans Academy, an initiative designed to identify and foster talent among aspiring young football players.

This appointment marks a significant milestone for our club and enables us to get started on building our list ahead of Sydney’s first AFLW season.

- Sydney Swans Executive GM - AFLW Kate Mahony

“This new partnership is a natural step for us to take with the Sydney Swans and reflects our common passion for supporting women in sport. We look forward to seeing this pathway for young female athletes deliver great talent into the women’s league.”

Sydney Swans CEO Tom Harley has thanked QBE for its continued support.

“QBE has been with the Swans since 1986 and really is a whole of club partner, being the Principal Partner of our men’s team and the QBE Sydney Swans Academy. Signing on as our AFLW foundation Principal Partner represents another significant commitment to our club and we are incredibly grateful for QBE’s tremendous support.”

The QBE logo will also appear on Sydney Swans women’s uniforms in the upcoming summer and winter series, which will showcase prospective talent in the lead up to Sydney entering the AFLW.