A BITTERLY disappointed Joey Peters will look to foster women’s soccer on the Central Coast after being overlooked for the Newcastle Jets’ W-League coaching position.
The home-grown Matildas great was an assistant coach with the Jets last season and had hoped to step into the head coaching role left vacant by Clayton Zane’s move to Newcastle’s youth league side.
With the backing of Hunter Sports Group, Peters and then Jets advisory board member Cheryl Salisbury helped Zane bring together a star-studded side containing Matildas captain Melissa Barbieri, Lisa De Vanna, Emily van Egmond and German star Ariane Hingst.
Northern NSW Football has taken back responsibility for the W-League side from HSG and yesterday announced it was going back to the future in appointing Wayne O’Sullivan as coach for next season.
O’Sullivan coached the NNSWF-run Jets, who had a budget of less than $100,000, to the wooden spoon in 2009-10 and second-last in 2010-11.
Zane’s side, with a budget of $200,000, attracted record home crowds but finished fifth last season to miss the finals.
The W-League side will now be integrated within NNSWF’s underpinning NSW Institute of Sport program, which is overseen by NNSWF technical director David Smith and coached by O’Sullivan and assistant Peter McGuinness.
Peters met with NNSWF chief executive David Eland yesterday and was encouraged to apply for a newly created female scholarship coach position with the Jets side.
Peters has her coaching B-licence and has started work towards an A-licence, meaning she is already qualified to coach as a woman at W-League level.
She viewed any talk of her taking up a scholarship position as a slap in the face.
‘‘I was told that might be appropriate for me, but I’m extremely disappointed in that position,’’ Peters said.
‘‘I’ve worked passionately to be in contention for the head coaching position, so I declined that new role. The Jets were the first option for me, but now I move on away from Northern. I’ve got a lot of other options.’’
She said a role with the Central Coast Mariners, who hope to field a W-League side after 2013, was in the pipeline.
Eland said he met with Peters out of courtesy and because she was the assistant coach last year.
He said the scholarship position was not created for Peters but she was told her application would be welcomed.
He said it was hoped the successful applicant would one day take on the head coaching position.
‘‘The appointments are consistent with what Northern is trying to achieve, and that is integrating the W-League into the existing NSWIS program, which provides stability for the team all year around,’’ Eland said. ‘‘Wayne and Peter are those coaches and it’s just an effective use of resources.’’
O’Sullivan focused on using local players during his tenure and Eland said that would be the plan again.
NNSWF will conduct a forum for ‘‘identified stakeholders’’ on July 25 which will give them the chance to contribute towards the strategic direction of women’s football in the region.