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Bentley: I want to learn everything I can

Western Bulldogs AFLW development coach Kirby Bentley says she is keeping an open mind in her new role.

Western Bulldogs AFLW development coach Kirby Bentley says she is keeping an open mind in her new role, while focusing on complementing the playing group’s strengths and goals.

The former Carlton and Fremantle player joined the Kennel this season, and said working with the young and eager group excites her.

“It’s been really exciting – the girls are engaging and they’re coachable, which makes it a whole lot easier for me coming in as an ex-player,” Bentley told

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Kirby Bentley | 'It's been really exciting'

New AFLW Development Coach Kirby Bentley speaks on how she's settling into the role and what she hopes to achieve going forward.

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“I like the fact that we’ve got a young side, but the fact that they’re coachable as well, are interested in developing themselves and are willing to give feedback so we can grow together – I think that is the most important thing.

“I (want to) stay open-minded, and I want to know everything that I possibly can. I think that’s exciting for me, and hopefully that starts to reflect in the girls and the way that they play the game.”

Bentley, a proud Noongar woman, also hopes to inspire the next generation of Indigenous players.

“When I was a player, I stayed just that – a player, and just worked on my game, but now that I’ve stepped away…and accepted the fact that I can’t play anymore, coaching is a huge interest of mine now,” she said.

“I want a lot of our young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls to step into the game and change the way we play, just like the Riolis and the Eddie Betts in the men’s games.”

The 2022 NAB AFLW season is scheduled to begin in early January.


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Western Bulldogs acknowledge that we reside on traditional lands of the Kulin Nation. We offer our respect to the Elders of these traditional lands, and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples past, present and emerging.