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Leigh Barnes Named US Freedom Coach

The USAFL is proud to announce Leigh Barnes as the new head coach of the US Freedom.  Leigh hails from Launceston, Tasmania and played footy in Tasmania and Queensland from 1976 to 1996.  In 1997 he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where founded, played, and coached the Santa Cruz/Golden Gate Roos. 

His coaching career began in 1985 coaching under 17's, under 18's, Reserves. Upon moving to California, he coached the Golden Gate Roos to a Div II Championship in 2005 and brought them up to Division I in 2006.

Leigh is also the inaugural coach of the Sacramento Screamers women's team.

When asked about the opportunity of coaching the Freedom, Barnes says "I strongly believe in building our team with each player having some form of ownership of what we are trying to achieve, their input will always be an important part of the “Freedom Way” of our 2011 campaign under my leadership."

Barnes is looking forward to meeting the Freedom Academy at the upcoming training camp in Austin, TX on February 26 and 27, 2011.  When asked about the task of preparing the team for the 2011 International Cup in August, Barnes says "I am grateful for the program developed by retiring coach Wayne Kraska and the leadership provided by the USAFL Women's Director Andrea Casillas.  The infrastructure that is in place will help make the transition as smooth as possible."

"I look forward to coaching the US Freedom at the first Women's International Cup to be contested in Sydney and Melbourne in August 2011".

When asked about the International Cup and changing coaches, USAFL Women's Director Andrea Casillas said "The International Cup will provide the Freedom an amazing opportunity to showcase our talents. In looking forward to the 2011 Australian tour, I am excited that Leigh is taking the reigns and am confident in his abilities."

“We are extremely pleased to have Barnesy on-board as the Freedom’s Head Coach, he brings with him many years of playing and coaching experience and a good nature that will enable him to bond well from day one with the team”, says Rich Mann, USAFL President.