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Hilder reveals NRL coaching aspirations

Harvey Norman NSW Sky Blues coach Kylie Hilder has revealed her ambition to become an NRL coach as the rugby league community celebrates the NRL’s 15th annual Women in League Round.

The former Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership and Ampol Women’s State of Origin winner had her first experience of elite coaching alongside assistant Geoff Toovey for the Sky Blues in June, and Hilder has not ruled out the possibility mentoring an NRL side in the future.

“I’m a big believer that best person should be coaching the (NRL) sides,” Hilder told Wide World of Sports’ Sunday Footy Show.

“I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t like to get that point (coaching in the NRL), absolutely I would, but it’s all about making sure that you’re the right person for the right job at the end of the day and that’s right through our game.

“Just because we’re a female coach, doesn’t mean we have to be coaching female sides.

“If the opportunity came and I felt that I was at that level, then absolutely.”

In reflecting on the evolution of the women’s game since Hilder began her rugby league journey, she also thanked the NSWRL for their significant contributions in supporting the cause.

“I think we’re getting to the stage where we should be getting every opportunity that the men get and that’s on the field but also off the field opportunities as well, and that’s in coaching, refereeing, sports trainers (etc),” Hilder said.

“I know at NSWRL David Trodden (CEO) is a massive supporter of that, and as an organisation at NSW we’re working really hard on supplying those opportunities just not on the field but off the field as well, in coach-mentor programs, refereeing programs and sports training.

“The game is increasing – six years ago we only had 6,000 females registered, we’ve now got nearly 23,000 playing the game which is just unbelievable."