Former Adelaide and Gold Coast Suns player Sally Riley is joining Greater Western Victoria Rebels' coaching staff as an assistant coach for the boys and girls sides.
The Crows premiership player, now a teacher at Ballarat Clarendon College, joins a coaching group full of AFL experience.
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Riley told The Courier she was excited to join the Rebels and continue her coaching journey.
"It feels great. I've always wanted to get into coaching post-playing career so to come back and do that here in Ballarat's pretty awesome," she said.
"I've done quite a bit while I was teaching and playing over the last five years at AFLW ... just super passionate about coaching especially at the development level at this stage and want to pass back what I've learnt."
Despite playing five seasons at the top level, Riley's rise was not through the traditional pathway at the Rebels.
She began playing in the Northern Territory while teaching, eventually selected with pick 39 by Adelaide in the 2016 national draft.
Standing in the Rebels' change rooms, Riley said she wants to assist those in the pathway now, which she never got to experience.
"There's the photos of the girls over there being drafted and I go 'where's my photo?'" she joked.
"I never played because there was no footy in Ballarat.
"Just the improvement in the girls and being a high school teacher as well, how they adapt and those who really want to improve will, they're just like sponges."
The Rebels' girls program excited Riley, also.
"I came back (to Ballarat) to play a VFL game for NT Thunder probably three or four years ago and that's when the Rebels girls' program was up and running," Riley said.
"When I lived here, that didn't exist. I remember that day going 'I want to be a part of that' whenever that might be."
Riley retired from the AFLW in March of this year and moved back to Ballarat, joining Buninyong's A Grade netball side.
She had conversations with some AFL clubs about potential coaching roles but decided to remain in Ballarat.
"Post-playing quite a few people knew that I was interested in coaching and I put some feelers out there but I really had to think long and hard of what pathway would I like to take," Riley said.
"Living in Ballarat and teaching here and family here I had to weigh up the commute and what was involved in that.
"That is probably something that I'll explore in the future but for now I'm just grateful for the offers but just settle myself back in Victoria.
"Almost be out of the system for a little bit to then come back into it and bring what I know."
GWV Rebels regional talent lead Damian Ross highlighted the wealth of knowledge Riley will bring to the program.
"It's just going to be so great to have someone of Sally's experience having come from the AFLW where she was vice-captain at Adelaide, premiership player, then goes to Gold Coast to help develop the younger brigade," he said.
"That experience is going to be invaluable for our program."
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