The verdict is in, it’s harder being a coach than a player – at least according to Fremantle captain Kara Donnellan.

Instead of pulling on the boots for another season with Swan Districts, the star midfielder took on the role as senior coach this WAFLW season. 

It’s been a successful year so far, with Donnellan coaching Swans into Saturday’s preliminary final against Subiaco at Leederville Oval.

The winner will advance to the grand final and face reigning premiers East Fremantle. 

Donnellan said it has been hard to fight the urge to pull on the boots and get out there.

“It’s tough! It’s been good though, I’m enjoying the challenge of coaching,” Donnellan said. 

“It’s this time of the year in finals that you want to be out there with the team. I was really proud of the girls on the weekend (against Claremont in the semi final), everyone bought into the game plan and we got the win.” 

Donnellan wary of Subi experience

After their convincing win against Claremont, Swan Districts face a big test against the minor premiers.

“We have another challenge this week and I’m more nervous coaching then when I was playing, it’s hard because you can only say so much at the start of the game and throughout the week and in the breaks,” Donnellan said. 

“It’s up to playing group to come together and get it done on the field. I’ll have to sit back and trust all the work that has been done all year and this week especially leading up to the game.

“I’ll sit back in the coaches box and, hopefully, the girls can get the job done and we’ll move on.”

Donnellan said that she’s joined in parts of the Swan Districts training sessions as she goes through her own program to be fit and firing for the start of the 2020 WAFLW season. 

“I’ve had a bit of a run around but not too much, I’m still trying to tick a few boxes with my rehab. I’m getting back slowly and surely,” Donnellan said.

“I’m feeling really fit and I think there’s been a nice balance being able to train as hard as I can in the gym and out on the track away from the team.

“It’s nice not having niggling injuries from getting bashed and crashed from games. I’m in a really good headspace, I’m feeling really good and I think what I’ve learnt with the coaching, it can make me a better player for Freo and a better captain and leader.

“I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the pre-season with all of my Freo teammates but first and foremost, we have to get the win against Subi this weekend and see where we go for Swans.”