Collingwood will farewell the club’s inaugural VFLW coach Penny Cula-Reid as she pursues another football coaching opportunity.

Cula-Reid took the team to VFLW premiership glory in 2019 and a Preliminary final in 2018. The team was minor premier in both seasons, winning 12 games each year.

A foundation player for Collingwood’s AFLW team, Cula-Reid joined the club with pick No. 102 in the inaugural AFL Women’s Draft in 2016.

She played two matches with the club before being appointed as an AFLW development coach and VFLW senior coach for the 2018 season. In her first season in the role, Cula-Reid was named VFLW Coach of the Year.

A lifelong supporter of the black-and-white stripes, Cula-Reid expressed her gratitude to the club as she prepares for her next step.

“I’d like to thank the Collingwood Football Club for giving me the opportunity to play as well as start my coaching career,” Cula-Reid said.

“As a Collingwood fan, it’s been an amazing experience working on the inside of the club I’ve supported and it definitely has not disappointed.

“I’ve been so proud to see the women’s football program grow during my three years at the club and I wish all of the teams the best for the 2020 season.”

Collingwood GM Women’s Sport Jane Woodlands-Thompson thanked Cula-Reid for her service.

“It hurts but it is also heartening. We’re so proud of what Penny has achieved at the Collingwood Football Club and pleased we could play a role in her development as a coach over the past two years,” Woodlands-Thompson said.

“While it is sad to see Penny leave, it is a commitment we have made at Collingwood to develop our people and we understand that if we do that successfully then they will not only become better coaches, players and people but attractive to other organisations. We can understand why Penny is an attractive candidate for new opportunities.

“We thank Penny for helping to deliver our first women’s football Premiership, we wish her well as she takes the next step in her career and we hope that she returns to us one day.

“With Penny’s departure, we look forward to again creating an opportunity for another promising coach to excel in our women’s football program.”