Trent’s strategy to revitalise Ipswich women's program
WITH a focused support team in place, Western Pride's recently appointed women's head coach Trent Gregson is getting down to business.
He has launched a strategy with football operations manager Pye Augustine, instigated trials and mapped out a pre-season plan.
Pride's bid to revitalise the club's National Premier League (NPL) women's program is gaining momentum.
"It's been about a month that I've been working Pye and the club on what we're hoping to achieve next year,'' Gregson said.
"I think everyone is motivated.''
The Pride women's team had to withdraw from this year's NPL competition after unfortunate coaching issues.
However, former Brisbane Women's Premier League mentor Gregson has arrived with renewed priorities.
"We are under no illusion,'' the former Coomera and Southport coach said.
"The women understand we are walking in as underdog. We actually love that.''
Tasmanian-born, Gold Coast raised Gregson aims to have an 18-strong squad in place for the second week in January.
Trials start on December 7 at the Springfield Central Sports Complex. They will continue on Monday and Wednesday nights until December 21.
Given this year's COVID-impacted season has just recently finished, Gregson understands his players need a short rest with the new season kicking off in early March.
"At the moment, I'm trying to reinforce the players to have a small break as much as they can,'' he said.
"This season has been pretty enormous. A lot of players don't even want to think about football until January.''
He said the focus was explaining what Pride wanted to achieve "and giving an insight to come back into the sport''.
His support team features assistant Leigh Alexander, who has experience working in New Zealand national team camps.
"She's amazing,'' Gregson said, having been associated with her for four years.
Before that, central midfielder Alexander was playing NPL in Christchurch.
"She brings that experience. She knows what it's like on a national level,'' Gregson said.
"She knows what it's like to win and lose at NPL level in New Zealand.''
Ray MacDonald will guide Pride's under-23 women playing in the restructured Football Queensland format for 2021.
"I'm a big believer in youth development so I'll be working closely with Ray,'' Gregson said.
Premiership-winning junior coach Russell Yarrow will work with Pride's under-16 combination and Adam Clay is looking after Pride's under-14 girls.
When he gets his senior squad together, Gregson is eager to use Pride's impressive facilities at Springfield and the Briggs Road Sporting Complex to advantage.
"I'm really excited,'' he said.
"We've got the most field space at any women's NPL club with our two facilities . . . and I don't think people realise that.
"The fact that I can confidently say, on a women's training night, our 23s and our open women's will have a full field each.''
As for restoring Pride's NPL status, Gregson said 2021 was about building a strong future.
"That's where I want to be,'' he said.
The added challenge is remaining in the top eight under the new structure.
At the halfway point of the 2021 season, the top eight will remain in the NPL for the 2022 season with the bottom eight playing in a seperate series.
Gregson, 31, has been coaching women's football for six years.
He recently completed his head coaching role with Coomera in the Brisbane Women's Premier League competition won by the Ipswich City Bulls.
The Western Pride newcomer enjoyed that rivalry.
Before that, he coached his Southport team to a premiership and grand final in the Gold Coast Premier League.
He is also coach of the Queensland Police women's side that plays in regular national carnivals. He shared in the team's previous bronze medal success.
"I'm a massive believer in women's quality when it comes to football,'' he said, sharing his overriding coaching philosophy.
"I'm more about squad first mentality.
"I understand everyone has got their own selfish goals when it comes to sport, which is no issue at all. But everything we do, we do for the squad.''
Gregson also has a background in rugby where he captained a First XV at school and played in A-Grade sides on the Gold Coast.
Away from football, he is a commercial plasterer who enjoys spending time with his wife Lisa and their two dogs.