Sam Wright poses for a photo after being appointed as Collingwood's AFLW senior coach. Picture: Collingwood Football Club

FORMER North Melbourne player and AFLW assistant coach Sam Wright has been appointed Collingwood's AFLW senior coach.

Wright, 33, played 136 games for North Melbourne between 2009 and 2019, his career ending somewhat prematurely due to serious ankle injuries.

He will replace Steve Symonds at Collingwood, becoming the third person to lead the AFLW side since 2017.

Wright has been forwards coach for North Melbourne's AFLW side for the past two seasons.

Prior to that, he worked for the Australian Ballet in dancer welfare and development – a connection he made while recuperating from his ankle injuries – and Cricket Victoria as player development manager.

"We’re thrilled to announce the appointment of Sam Wright as our AFLW senior coach," Collingwood football boss Graham Wright said.


"Our recruitment process for this role was extremely thorough and we left no stone unturned in finding the right coach to lead our AFL program into its next chapter.

"From a criteria perspective we wanted a coach who could foster a high-performance environment, build and maintain strong relationships with both players and staff and have a strong foundation in developing people and footballers.

"Over the course of the process, it became apparent that Sam not only met all our outlined criteria but is also a leader who embodies our values as a club."

Wright will start in his role in the new year.

"It's an honour to be named the AFLW senior coach of the Collingwood Football Club," Wright said. 

Sam Wright is seen during a North Melbourne photo day on February 1, 2016. Picture: AFL Photos

"I am grateful to be able to play a role alongside every player and staff member in driving elite standards within the AFLW program which will in turn lead to success.

"I look forward to meeting this talented group of footballers very soon and cannot wait to get to work in what will be a very exciting next chapter of this program where we will strive to get better, together."

Collingwood finished 11th in 2023, having played in finals for the previous four seasons.

It's understood Sydney assistant Nick Davis was among the frontrunners for the Magpies job, while AFLW head of football Jess Burger – who was on the selection committee – confirmed to Credit to the Girls podcast she did not apply.