One for the history books as new coach appointed
NEW Byron Bay coach Belinda Wilson has become part of history as the first female to coach a Far North Coast men's premier division soccer team.
She is also believed to be the first head coach of a men's premier division team across Northern NSW Football.
She returns to her junior club with an impressive CV which has seen her coach a premiership-winning Brisbane Roar W-League side and an Australian junior national team.
She has no hesitations taking over a men's team and said she was surprised it has taken this long for a female to step up to the challenge.
"2019 and I'm the first female in the area to coach a men's team," Wilson said.
"It says a lot about the game itself and probably shows that there needs to be a pathway for more females to be involved.
"Maybe it's something the competition needs to look at; it shouldn't matter if you're male or female, it should go to the best person for the job.
"I started coaching boys and I went into the women's game because there was a need for female coaches in the area.
"I've worked at the highest level in Guam, when I was there I was in charge of men and women's football.
"For me gender doesn't come into it, it's another opportunity and I'm just here to coach."
Wilson left Byron Bay in 2003 and joined the Asian Football Confederation as coach education manger for Women's Football and was later appointed as the director of women's football.
She went on to coach Norway where she received her first full-time coaching role.
While home working in Queensland she was appointed as the head coach of the Under-17 Australian women's national team where they competed at a World Cup Qualifier in China.
In 2017 she packed up again to move to Guam where she was appointed the women's national team coach and was in charge of all football development on the island as the technical director.
Wilson was also part of the FIFA Technical Study Group for the 2007 and 2011 World Cups and the 2008 Olympic Games.
She still works full-time with FIFA as a consultant and will balance that role with coaching Byron Bay,
"I am happy to be home again and be in a position where I can give back to the club, they gave me my first opportunity and access to coaching licences which enabled me to start on a career path that I did not see coming," Wilson said.
"Byron Bay looks after its juniors and I like the systems they have in place.
"I let them know I was around and willing to help out next season and things got going from there."