Departing Academy Coach Plays Huge Role in Developing Young Players

Pat Mills could field multiple Liberty A-League Women squads and even a CommBank Matildas starting side, with the footballers he has coached over the past twenty years.

From Lydia Williams, Grace Gill, Karly Roestbakken and Georgia Yeoman-Dale to Laura Hughes, Grace Maher, Nicki Flannery and Hayley Taylor-Young, Mills has certainly fostered the growth of dozens of talented players.

In 2013, Mills joined the Canberra United Academy as an Assistant Coach to the u15s and then a year later became Head Coach of the u14s and then the u13s squad.

 After eight seasons with the Canberra United Academy, Mills is departing the CUA Program.

“I think the biggest thing I will take away, is the enthusiasm of the girls and their desire to learn,” Pat said.

“The girls wanting to progress and wanting to know the most and to be challenged the most. 

“I have also learnt that coaching at the elite level takes up a huge part of our lives. Preparing sessions, talking to players, parents, coaches, conducting sessions, undertaking courses.  It’s a huge commitment but we all do it because we are passionate about it.  I have been lucky to have had great TDs, Head Coaches and staff at CUA. 

“I have learnt so much from them all.”

With several titles to his name, Mills is taking the next step in his coaching career, accepting a role with NPLW’s first grade Gungahlin United FC squad.  

“I would like to thank CUA for giving me eight years of incredible joy,” Mills said

“I loved my time with CUA and was proud of every player I had the privilege to coach.  I wish them well in their football career and will always follow their journey with much excitement.”

Acting Capital Football Technical Director Phil Booth wished Mills all the best at GUFC.

“On behalf of Capital Football and Canberra United Academy I would like to thank Pat for his contribution to CUA and women’s football in the ACT,” Booth said.

“Pat has shown great commitment and dedication to female football and has played a part in developing many players who have gone on to play for Canberra United.

“Personally, I would like to thank Pat for his enthusiasm and commitment to our programs and wish him well in his new role as first grade coach at Gungahlin United.

“They are lucky to have him.”