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Randall, Phillips tapped for AFL coaching roles

Football

Crows AFLW captain Chelsea Randall will become an AFL coach next month when she takes on a new development role in the men’s side, while Power star recruit Erin Phillips has also been tapped for a coaching position in Port Adelaide’s AFL program.

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The Adelaide Football Club announced on Tuesday that Randall, 30, would start as an AFL development coach in July with a two-year contract running until 2024.

She will be mentored by Adelaide senior coach Matthew Nicks and head of development Marco Bello.

Her position in the coaches’ box will be jointly funded by the club and the AFL and will give her a place at all coaches’ meetings, including match committee, as well as weekly training sessions and gameday.

Randall, who is still completing a teaching degree, MCing the club’s home games and captaining the Crows AFLW side, said she hoped the presence of female coaches in the AFL would set an example for younger girls.

“We’re trying to normalise female coaches within this AFL industry and I think that’s such an exciting thing,” she told reporters yesterday.

“You can’t be what you can’t see and that was the same with AFLW players.

“We’re seeing these phenomenal athletes both men and women on TV now and hopefully girls can also see that you can also aspire to be a coach in this space.”

Randall is the second-ever female coach to have a position in Adelaide’s men’s side after former basketballer Pat Mickan, who was a skills coach with the Crows in the 1990s.

Phillips, meanwhile, is set to be mentored by Port Adelaide senior coach Ken Hinkley for a position in the men’s side.

The dual AFLW best and fairest winner, who moved over to Alberton this offseason after three-premierships with the Crows, is currently completing her Level 3 AFL coaching accreditation.

The two appointments are part of the AFL’s new Women’s Coaching Acceleration Program, put in place to boost the number of female coaches.

The program will see top female coaches given minimum two-year contracts until at least 2025.

Under the program, Melbourne AFLW captain Daisy Pearce will kick off her coaching career at Geelong after she finishes off playing.

Pearce, 34, has already committed to playing on for the upcoming season, which starts in August, but her playing career beyond that is uncertain.

“I’m thrilled about coaching opportunities when my playing days at Melbourne have finished,” Pearce said in a statement.

“When that is honestly I’m not sure, but coaching is something that excites me when the time is right. I’m grateful for Geelong’s interest and Melbourne’s ongoing support.

“For the season ahead, my focus remains on representing the Melbourne Football Club and being the best player and teammate I can be.

“Going one step further and winning the flag is my dream and I can’t wait to get stuck into another pre-season with the girls.”

Pearce is the only candidate who isn’t completing her coaching pathway at the club she is currently playing at or involved in.

“Daisy has incredible knowledge of the game itself and we think she has enormous potential to coach football at the highest level,” Geelong general manager of football Simon Lloyd said.

“… We will be delighted to have Daisy on board when the time is right.”

GWS skipper Alicia Eva will be working at the Giants, while Hawthorn AFLW coach Bec Goddard, Essendon AFLW coach Natalie Wood, former Brisbane captain and Lions AFLW assistant Emma Zielke and Collingwood VFLW coach Chloe McMillan will all complete the program at their respective clubs.

North Melbourne’s candidate is yet to be confirmed.

The coaches all receive a formal mentorship with a senior men’s AFL coach and a level 3 AFL coaching accreditation.

– With AAP

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