EXCELLENT MOVE: Newly-appointed Western Pride women's head coach George Kalogeridis.
EXCELLENT MOVE: Newly-appointed Western Pride women's head coach George Kalogeridis. Cordell Richardson

'Perfect opportunity' for Pride coach, 'enjoy the ride'

NEWLY-appointed Western Pride women's head coach George Kalogeridis was happy to share his Australian Matildas ambitions.

"The Matildas is definitely a pathway I want to have a look at and go down,'' he said.

"The opportunity (for Australia) to host the 2023 World Cup gives me an opportunity to showcase myself before that and try and get myself into that sort of a set-up.''

However, before daring to chase that goal, the South Australian and Victorian footballer and coach is eager to help Western Pride in the National Premier Leagues competition.

"It's a fantastic opportunity to help rebuild a program that probably hasn't been at the best the last two years in the NPL,'' he said.

Having previously worked with women's and men's NPL programs in Victoria, Kalogeridis has moved north aware of the impressive development taking place up here.

"I actually think the NPL in Queensland, within the next two-three years, will be the best women's NPL in the country,'' he said.

"So it's a perfect opportunity to get in.''

Finalising his move north, Kalogeridis is planning to get the Pride women together for pre-season in early December.

That will be an initial three and a half week block before stepping up 2020 NPL season preparations in January.

In 2016, he worked with the under-18 NPL women in Melbourne before honing his coaching skills with the men at senior level in 2017 and last year.

"In 2018, I was lucky enough to take my first head coach role with a senior side halfway through the year where we were in a bit of a struggle and we wound up missing playoffs by about two points,'' he said.

Newly-appointed Western Pride women's head coach George Kalogeridis.
George Kalogeridis. Cordell Richardson

Kalogeridis has been actively working with Pride general manager Pat Boyle in recruiting some southern-based footballers to help his team's promising youth.

They include Kelsey Minton, who was South Melbourne's Golden Boot winner last season.

The Ipswich coaching newcomer has enjoyed working with women, fully aware of the dramatic rise in quality players.

He has been watching Queensland NPL games in recent weeks as part of his preparation.

He hopes having no previous links to Ipswich gives him a neutral advantage in assessing what needs to be improved.

However, he has been encouraged by his first impressions, aware Pride is a club with big ambitions.

"They definitely want to be on the rise. Have a look at the facilities,'' he said, overseeing the Briggs Road Sporting Complex venue. "It's excellent to come into something like this.''

Come and 'enjoy the ride'

ADELAIDE born and bred football coach George Kalogeridis loves horse racing and "horses in general''.

He has already pondered setting up on a farm having recently been house hunting as he prepares to settle into his important Ipswich coaching role.

Kalogeridis, 35, has family farming links in Horsham and developed a keen interest in racing.

Newly-appointed Western Pride women's head coach George Kalogeridis.
Newly-appointed Western Pride women's head coach George Kalogeridis. Cordell Richardson

As a number 10 footballer, he played in the NPL system in South Australia before furthering his coaching experience in Victoria.

The new women's head coach is excited about the wealth of opportunities looming with Western Pride.

"My main priority is getting the culture right,'' he said.

"Getting everyone on the same page from the playing group through to board level and things like that. So we have got a happy place that we come into work.

"I want everybody to get behind us and enjoy the ride.''