Caldwell excels in new role

FOLLOWING years of representing her state on the pitch, it was only a matter of time before Bundaberg's Debbie Caldwell would swap her boots for a clipboard.

Caldwell put her experience to good use as an assistant coach of the Queensland girls' under-17 team, which was runner-up at the Qantas National Youth Championships at Coffs Harbour.

The playing coach of both Bundaberg and her club side Bingera, Caldwell said the team had made a habit of fighting back, but failed to find a winner in the final, losing 1-nil to New South Wales.

"In a few of our pool games, we fell behind by a goal early, but were still able to win 2-1 or 3-1, but we just fell short when it mattered," Caldwell said.

"They were a great bunch of players, and I learnt a lot from the experience."

Ironically, it was her reputation as fierce competitor on the pitch which got her the job, when the previous candidate had to withdraw.

"I got a call from the coach, who I have known for many years, and he asked if I would be interested," Caldwell said.

"I would like to do more (coaching) at a state level, but they (the state federation) prefer people to be in Brisbane because that's where all the training sessions are.

"I'd have to move to the city, and that probably won't happen, so I'll be happy to stick with a minor role."

Caldwell said she planned to implement certain strategies into her coaching duties in Bundaberg.

"There's quite a few drills and tactical stuff that will be very helpful here. We scored most of our goals off set plays, and they're the sort of things I'd like to develop with Bingera and Bundy," she said.

Caldwell again featured as the Bundaberg open women's team outgunned Gympie 9-3 in the Wide Bay championships last Sunday, but she will need to call on all her experience if Bingera are to extend their six-year Ladies League championship reign as they are in a rebuilding process and are currently off the pace in third position.

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