Arnold reflects on time with Northern Lights
Jason Arnold has stepped down after six years as Northern Lights coach and will be remembered as one of the most successful coaches in international footy.
Arnold says it was time for him to pass the baton while he focused more on his family.
“It's an extremely tough decision but also an easy one if that makes sense,” he says.
“I think it's important to give the incumbent coaches the ability to put their stamp on the Northern Lights program so I'll take a step back for a while and focus on the family and our swim school business.
“My two daughters have some exciting opportunities ahead in their respective sporting endeavours. It's an important time for them and I'm excited to be around to fully support them like my parents supported me with my footy at the same age."
Arnold first joined the national program in 2012 as an assistant coach under Tristan Waldock for the Parallel Cup.
He took over the reins not long after the Northern Lights’ loss that year. Since taking over, the Lights have only lost three quarters in the six years that followed.
“In the return game in Edmonton in 2013, we won 87-1 and never looked like losing to the US again. This win gave them the belief that the hard work makes a difference,” Arnold says.
“IC14 was an incredible achievement by our girls and gave much deserved credibility for our program and everyone's hard work. We were the dominant side and deserved the victory.
“The loss at IC17 was tough, but I'm equally proud of our team. We lost four VWFL calibre players on the eve of the event. It seriously tested our depth and the quality of our program and the girls responded incredibly. To make it to the grand final was a feat in itself.
“I’m extremely proud of the achievements of this group of players, coaches and support staff. We have a team-first mantra and so many people put the team first to help us collectively achieve some pretty amazing results for a country that is under snow for nearly half the year.”
While Arnold is stepping backing from the national program, he says it’s an exciting time for women’s footy in Canada.
“We have a number of long standing incredibly talented players who are reaching the end of their playing career,” he says.
“We've been encouraging them in the past few years to step into coaching as we need more Canadian coaches in the women's game.
“For clubs and leagues to grow its critical for players to perform roles well beyond their playing days. If we can transition players into coaches and roles on committees, the future will be extremely positive.”