Emma Goff doesn't watch any of the Western Bulldogs AFL games, but that's not because she isn't close to the action.
The 24-year-old Victoria University Honours student - the first female to work inside the Bulldogs coaches box on game day – is too busy monitoring player rotations to worry about the score line.
As part of coach Rodney Eade's inner sanctum during Melbourne matches, Emma records each player's field and bench time on a specially designed computer program.
"I never expected to be doing this when I first started my university course,'' Emma said. "This is the best opportunity someone of my experience could hope for. It's an elite team so I'm very lucky to be part of it and to be learning in a world-class sporting environment.
"I guess it is another glass ceiling being broken and hopefully it encourages other women to get involved in these great football clubs.''
After leaving RMIT University to start a degree in Exercise Science and Human Movement at Victoria University, Emma applied for a cadetship at the Bulldogs as part of her third year of the course.
"We are required to complete 300 hours of work placement as part of our professional development. Five students applied for the Bulldogs position and I was luckily enough to get it.
"My main role was to do the Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking of how far each player was running as well as their acceleration. It's all very important information for the coaches, both for training and in games.''
Bulldogs Head of Physical Conditioning Bill Davoren said Emma's "terrific work" with GPS analysis data had convinced the club she was the right person for the coaches box job this year.
"Emma has been a really good asset to our program at the Western Bulldogs,'' Mr Davoren said. "On match days the coaches rely greatly on her in the box and she has been a fantastic addition to our club."
While Emma's role at the Bulldogs remains voluntary while she completes her Honours studies, she hopes to be offered a paid role in the future.
"Victoria University has opened up massive opportunities for me. If I hadn't gone to VU I would never have been able to get this type of placement. The relationship between VU and the Bulldogs is very close and the new teaching facilities that have just opened at Whitten Oval are world class.''
Photos of Emma in the Bulldogs coaches box before the game are available upon request.
For interview: Emma Goff, Victoria University Honours student, on 0439 344 092
Daniel Clarke, Media Officer,
VU Marketing and Communications Department
Ph: 9919 9491 or 0407 771 072