The AFL today announced that former Geelong captain and two-time premiership player Tom Harley would coach NSW/ACT and former Essendon Premiership player Scott Lucas had been appointed to coach Vic Country in the 2011 NAB AFL Under 16 Championships.
Harley, who played 197 games for Geelong between 1999-2009, had been working with the Greater Western Sydney Giants before taking up the new coaching role. He is currently a mentor for the AIS-AFL Academy squad.
Lucas played 270 games for Essendon and was awarded the club’s best and fairest in 2003 and 2006. He will coach the Vic Country Under 16 side while also working a new role with the AFLPA in 2011.
AFL General Manager of Development, David Matthews said the AFL was delighted to have two such well renowned former players taking up the coaching roles.
“It’s a great result to have such talented coaches in the game and I know they will both make a strong contribution to the development of these young players," Mr Matthews said.
As coaches of the Under 16 sides, Harley and Lucas continue the successful recent strategy of engaging former champions such as Michael Voss and Nathan Buckley to coach future champions.
Mr Matthews said the coaches’ role in developing talent will be of great benefit to all concerned.
"Scott and Tom will work to ensure that the pathway for elite young players continues to provide opportunities as it did for the likes of Luke Hodge and Jimmy Bartel,” Mr Matthews said.
Scott Lucas said he was looking forward to the opportunity of helping to develop the skills of the young players.
“To be able to work with such talented and committed youngsters and help them to maximise their potential, as both footballers and young men, is genuinely exciting,” Lucas said.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge of this new role and the opportunities and new experiences it will bring”.