Filoi Eneliko creeps closer to her coaching dream following time with the Brumbies

Tue, Apr 30, 2024, 11:00 PM
Filoi Eneliko during Super Rugby Women's Brumbies training.
Filoi Eneliko during Super Rugby Women's Brumbies training.

Filoi Eneliko was the beneficiary of a Pacific-Aus partnership which lead to her gaining the opportunity to become an assistant coach at the Safeguard Global ACT Brumbies for the Super Rugby Women's side.

As the head of Lakapi Samoa’s Women’s Academy, Eneliko will bring back plenty of valuable experience to Samoa that she has gained in Australia's capital with the Brumbies elite sporting program. All experience she has soaked up during her time in the capital will be essential for the coach as she looks to accomplish her dream of being the head coach in a national 15's rugby side.

Fronting the women's academy in Samoa as well as having involvement in the Women's 15s side Eneliko will be looking to implement as much of her Brumbies experience as possible despite being in a very different environment.

"Not everything I have learned here will work for us back home, it's different depending on the resources we have available as we don't have GPS' and things of the sort," said Eneliko.

"What I can take home though is my experience with planning sessions, communicating what we want to achieve and replicating the system at Brumbies with how to have meaningful one-on-ones with players."

Coming from lower resourced competitions, the coach has revelled in her opportunity to utilise analytical programs to provide video sessions to players and examine the fine details of the Super Rugby Women's competition.

"It not only helps me, but it helps the players understand what we're trying to coach and when they go wrong. It's a great tool to have," said Eneliko.

Becoming a focal point in her coaching, Eneliko believes she has greatly developed her interpersonal skills allowing her to have more impactful one-on-one conversations with players to truly bring out the best from the athletes. Alongside this skill she also is adamant her analytical skills have improved out of sight in unison with her capacity to plan sessions both alongside other coaching staff and on her own.

Despite being a key figure in forming the strategy for the Brumbies, Eneliko remains selfless in her mission to bring the best out of any athletes that may cross her path.

"When they pull off a great play that we have taught them it does feel good, but it's always a team effort. If they implement something it's not just a reflection on me but on the whole coaching staff as well as the players for translating something from training to on the field."

Reflecting on her 2024 season with the Brumbies, Eneliko looks fondly upon the connections she makes with the players and seeing their rugby journey successfully progressing.

"Time has flown by very quickly and wow, at Brumbies not only I have to think on my feet, I have to be innovative, possess good interpersonal skills and successfully know how to manage individuals," said Eneliko.

"The highlight for myself is seeing the individual players that I work with from last year to this year and seeing them grow and push out of their comfort zone. Like Faitala [Moleka] she has progressed really well as a player not only on the field but also off it.

Despite being knocked out of the competition in the Semi-Finals by the NSW Waratahs, the side showed off a massive turnaround after suffering a heavy loss to the same side in the trial matches before striking back with a highly competitive match in the finals, which Eneliko believes is a great reflection on the players.

"After that first game, it not only hit them physically but also mentally and it was quite emotional that day, but we encouraged them through that and used it to drive them and come back stronger.

Even without her presence however, Eneliko believes the Brumbies will be a force to be reckoned with going forward in the Super Rugby Women's competition.

"Looking ahead, we will make the final and if we make the final, we will win it. With the spirit and talent we have, the individuals in the team will drive us to a win. In future years we will dominate the women's rugby space in Australia."

"For helping me with my goal to one day become a head coach for a national 15's team I want to say thank you to the Pacific-Aus partnership for allowing me to develop with the best rugby club in Australia."

"Finally I'd also love to say thank you to Chris and Phil Thomson, the board, Scott Fava, the high performance and academy staff at the Brumbies for all they have done to help me, as well as my Brumbies management/coaching team for their support from when I started in January until we finished our last game."

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