You cannot be what you cannot see.
There was a documentary in 2011 called Miss Representation that tried to uncover why women are under-represented in positions of power.
Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund provided the above quote - and it certainly applies when we talk about females in coaching roles.
Fortunately for both Parkes and the entire nation, two women are doing their best to be seen: Meaghan Kempson and Leah Blayney.
Kempson is a native of Orange, but now lives and works in Parkes as a PE teacher at Parkes High School in addition to coaching the Parkes Cobras in the Western Premier League and the NSW Country side.
Blayney will need no introduction to long-time women's football fans in Australia.
She represented Australia and played in the US in her highly succesful, albeit brief, playing career.
Those accomplishments pale in comparison to what she has achieved as a coach though, with the former Blue Mountains resident now the coach of the Young Matiladas - our national under 20s team.
And how do these impressive female coaches connect?
Blayney, an unabashed fan of Kempson, had admired her coaching ability and invited her to join the coaching team at a Young Matildas camp.
The rest, as they say, is history.
"There are limited opportunities for both females and regional coaches, and I've had the opportunity to see Kempson work at National titles," Blayney told the Parkes Champion Post late last week.
"I believe in rewarding hard work and good people, so anyone I try to bring into my Young Matildas environment, it's to help their development obviously - but they add value to us as well."
Life is tough for regional coaches trying to break into an elite football environment, and it's even tougher for females.
Kempson was very grateful for the opportunity, which she said is not something you can read in a textbook, or learn via a Zoom presentation.
"For me, it was the next level of professionalism; you read about it and see it on TV, but you can't actually fathom the degree of detail they go into until you are actually in that environment," she said.
"That's something I'm extremely grateful for - I know where the bar is set, and I can come back and give regional kids a taste of that."
Talented football players in places like Parkes don't quite get the same football education as city players - and Kempson said that's down to two main things.
"The biggest struggle for us comes down to resources and logistics.
"The enthusiasm, motivation and determination is all there, and matches metropolitan counterparts, but you just can't provide the same experience or opportunity when they are having to travel four hours for one training session.
"We can provide programs for the kids to do at home in their own space, but if they aren't training around other kids at that level, it is hard for them to step up - so it is about finding that player pool that can constantly push and extend an individual to be a better player," said Kempson.
Let's go back to the quote 'you cannot be what you cannot see.'
This is one of the huge problems for female coaches in particular.
And Blayney is doing her best to combat that.
It's certainly not about tokenism, or ticking a box that says 'hire a female,' or 'hire a coach from the Central West' either - which Blayney is very clear on.
You might hear comments from some players saying 'we just want the right person for the job, we don't care what gender' (AFLW stalwart Daisy Pearce is an example of this).
That is missing the point, though.
Females are often not being given the same opportunity to develop, are being overlooked entirely for a more 'famous' name or aren't aware of the opportunities out there for them.
Blayney said it all comes back to empowering our female coaches.
"It starts at the top of an organistation or club; clubs need to be targeting females that they know are good coaches, can fit their club culture and can do the job as good as any male can.
"It's also about empowering females to apply for those jobs - that's so important.
"A male might apply for the job knowing he can do it, a female might question whether she can do her job," said Blayney.
Women's football is a pretty exciting environment to be involved in at the moment.
The Matildas are one of the most popular sides in the country - of either gender - and play a really aggressive, enthusiastic style of football that is aesthetically pleasing.
TV ratings are through the roof too.
2.24 million Aussies watched the Matildas semi final against Sweden, which smashed a viewing record the Matildas had set in the group stages, when 1.4 million people watched them take on, ironically, Sweden.
You can see Sam Kerr. Or Cowra's Ellie Carpenter.
So now you can BE them.
According to Football Federation Australia's (FFA) Annual Review for 2020, women and girls are responsible the fastest growing sector in football.
"While growth was experienced across all areas of the game...women and girls participating in football-related activities rose by 11 per cent, and they now represent some 22 per cent of the total number of players across Australia," the report read.
"Women's football presents the greatest opportunity for growth in Australia football, and we are focused on maximising this great period for the game as we look to transform Australia into the centre of women's football in the Asia-Pacific region."
The report even went so far to say that the growth and development of Australia football will be anchored in the women's game - something Blayney said the FFA is really committed to.
"Females in leadership roles across the business and across the whole game is something they (FFA) are heavily invested in.
"The Matildas success on the pitch and TV ratings, people of both genders do actually want to watch women's football - which is a narrative that might have been squashed in the past," Blayney said.
I think it's safe to say the Matildas are exciting to watch - you'd think a lot of Australians spent the entirety of the Matildas Olympic campaign watching at the edge of their seat.
That success will seep down in Parkes and other areas, too.
Blayney said the aim isn't to get players trained up and sent straight to the city once they are skilled - it's to get as many people playing 'the beautiful game' as possible.
"The FFA's main aim is to upskill coaches in the specific region, our goal isn't to relocate everybody to a central hub - that's only for a handful of people.
"We want to reach the masses and to do that we have to empower people like Kempson in these areas," said Blayney.
READ MORE SPORTS STORIES:
For Kempson's part, you can see the passion just oozing out every time she talks about football, and not just the game itself but developing it in an area that is very special to her.
"If I packed my bags and went to Sydney, then the regional areas are back to square one.
"You need coaches that have the affinity with the region and are happy to expand that to the best of their ability," Kempson said.
Like Blayney, she can also see the merit in making sure star country athletes don't get shipped off to the city by default.
"I think we have to be mindful we aren't shipping players off to the city too early.
"We are now starting to see the athlete in a holistic sense, and sometimes it is best to be at home at that age," said Kempson.
So to the budding Parkes Cobras, Socceroos or Matildas.
Or to the budding coaches who love developing football, and developing people.
You can be Meaghan Kempson. Or Leah Blayney. Or Kyah Simon.
Because you can now see them.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Instagram
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.