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Insider named as new head of umpiring

THE AFL has found its new head of umpiring from within, promoting Grant Williams into the high-profile and high-pressure role as Peter Schwab's replacement.

Schwab's shock resignation in mid-November after less than a year in the job came shortly after Steve Hocking's ascension to head of football operations. 

A near three-month search ended with the appointment of Williams, who was most recently the AFL's head of community and international development. 

Williams also served as AFL Victoria's general manager and Carlton's general manager of football operations before that.

His responsibilities will include the development of the senior AFL umpiring panel; overall strategy and expansion for umpiring at all levels of the game; high-performance training; pathway development; and participation and recruitment. 

"Grant has extensive football experience, is a first-class achiever and is highly regarded across the football industry," Hocking said. 

"As I have said in the past, the umpiring department is the 19th team of our competition; we will resource and invest in it accordingly. I am extremely pleased that Grant will lead this team." 

Former AFL Tasmania chief executive Rob Auld has accepted a new position as the AFL's head of game development in another key appointment. 

Trisha Squires takes over from Auld and becomes the first female chief executive of an AFL state body. 

She steps up from her old role as AFL Tasmania's partnerships and community engagement manager.

Trisha Squires (centre) is the new CEO of AFL Tasmania. Picture: AFL Tasmania

Auld will oversee the management of state programs; coach innovation and education; international game development; and diversity and community programs.

AFL general manager game development Andrew Dillon said Auld achievements in charge of AFL Tasmania and 15-year stint at beverage company Lion made him the ideal candidate.

"Rob created a very positive football environment in the state of Tasmania," Dillon said. 

"His leadership, strategic thinking and delivery around grassroots football, along with a strong business sense, made the decision to lead us in this area an easy one." 

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan hailed Squires, previously CEO of the Jim Stynes-established REACH Foundation, as "the best person to lead AFL football in Tasmania through its next phase".

"Trisha is extremely respected and well known in our industry," McLachlan said. 

"She has made a tremendous contribution to football, and has worked closely with Rob over her time in Tasmania.

"I congratulate her on the appointment and becoming the first female AFL state CEO." 

Williams, Auld and Squires all start their roles this week.