Leigh Barnes, head coach of the US Freedom Women's Australian Football team, has announced the captain and assistant coaches for 2013.
With 3 year captain Judith Stein stepping down as captain, Barnes and his staff embarked on a search for the best possible replacement. When the dust settled, Eileen Geoghegan of the Baltimore-Washington Lady Eagles was the consensus choice.
Barnes said "Eileen has impressed us all over the past 2 years with her football abilities and her undoubted passion to the game. She brings a strong sense of commitment to the Freedom program and I believe that she will follow in Judith's footsteps and be a great leader for our team."
Geoghegan grew up in Massachussetts and played Division I soccer goalie and competed in track and field at Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. She discovered Australian football after relocating to Baltimore to attend graduate school at Johns Hopkins. After starting in 2009, she has played for the Freedom since 2010 and was named DFAT Player of the Nation for the USA at the 2011 International Cup. When asked about her appointment she said "I am excited and honored to have been named captain of the Freedom, but realize it is only possible through all the hard work of current and former leaders such as Kathryn Hogg, Wayne Kraska, Drea Casillas, Judith Stein, and many others. Women's footy has come so far and I'm really looking forward to helping take it to the next level and to returning to the International Cup in 2014!"
In addition to the change in captaincy, Barnes also announced some changes to the assistant coaching staff. Milli Bruce has decided to step down to concentrate on playing and development of the San Francisco Iron Maidens. Dale "Diesel" Williams and John Ironmonger have come on board as assistant coaches.
Williams is the head coach of the Minnesota Freeze and has overseen their growth from a handful of players in 2010 to a squad of 22 at the 2012 USAFL National Championships. Ironmonger needs no introduction but had a storied career with Sydney and Fitzroy in the VFL and the Santa Cruz/Golden Gate Roos in the USAFL.