“Getting better as a footballer and as a team and playing a brand of football that is part of my philosophy and club’s philosophy is the biggest reward for me.” – Daniel Naumovski
Daniel Naumovski will lead the South Coast Flame women’s set-up into its inaugural season in the Football New South Wales (FNSW) Women’s League 1 competition. Naumovski has been with the Flame since the female program began in 2018 and will coach the women’s first-grade side at the club in 2022. He is also the Technical Director for the female program at the club.
He said he had vivid memories of his time playing the game, especially during his junior career where he has made life-long friends.
“I remember waking up early and under 10’s and 11’s were always the first game on the weekend – 8:30 [am] and it was always really cold in winter, but you forgot about that pretty quickly once the ball started rolling,” he said.
“I remember always rocking up to games with your shin pads on, boots on, full kit ready to go.”
Naumovski played into his mid-20s before an injury saw him move into the coaching space.
“I had a bad training-park injury in a training game the week before the season started,” he said.
“It was two years of rehab after that, and it was during that time where I fell into coaching.
“I was always excited about the game and all facets of the game. When I was at uni, I did a lot of sports science subjects and loved a lot of exercise physiology and strength and conditioning components related to the game.”
Despite being quite early on in his coaching career having only coached for seven years, Naumovski has developed a coaching philosophy that focuses on a commitment to prioritising the person rather than looking to just develop the player. He explained that one of the underlying reasons for this approach is his background as a high school teacher.
“Watching people grow as footballers and as people is a great part of the game of football. I think the best part about sport and all sports in general is the environment, a team environment is special. Anyone who has been part of a team knows that there’s a certain feeling around that you can’t put your finger on it and it’s an environment where you have a sense of belonging,” he said.
“Watching players after a game when they’ve won a game, the comradery, the elation, the smiles on their faces walking off the field – it gets infectious.”
A year into coaching at Football South Coast, he along with a few other coaches started up a girls-only academy – training at Kooloobong Oval. In 2018 the South Coast Flame entered junior sides in the Girls Conference League competition for the first time which Naumovski became a part of.
“I got an inkling that off the success of the Matildas’ that the girls’ game was growing so quick, he said.
“I loved what the idea about the club is; the philosophy of the club; the culture it’s developed and no matter what the most important factor about the club is the player and the person.”
It was recently announced that South Coast Flame will be competing in the FNSW Women’s League 1 in 2022 for the first time which is the second-highest competition in the state. Flame was very successful in the Girls Conference League winning numerous titles in the four years it was in the competition. Naumovski is proud of the pathway the club has created in the female game and was looking forward to the challenge next season.
“It’s been an easy journey with a lot of hard work because the objective is so clear and I hope that after my time finishes at the South Coast Flame that the next batch of coaches that have come under me as a T.D. [Technical Director] can then take over what I’ve set for them,” he said.
“Having SAP [Skills Acquisition Program] girls all the way through to women’s was the number one objective so players that love the club like I do, can keep going on that journey from a young age to an old age.
“One thing that I like to promote is young SAP kids watching the women’s team or even age groups above them and being inspired saying ‘you know what I want to be like this player in the women’s team’ and they’ve got a connection there.”
South Coast Flame has recently announced the trial dates for 2022 with trials for the FNSW Women’s League 1 teams beginning in early November.