Kara Antonio runs through the banner ahead of the AFLW R10 match between Fremantle and Hawthorn at Fremantle Oval on October 29, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

FORMER Fremantle skipper Kara Antonio has returned to the club, appointed AFLW backline coach for the 2024 season in a complete overhaul of the team's line coaches.

Antonio played 47 games for the Dockers, retiring at the end of season seven in 2022 (she spent a portion of that season as forwards coach while injured) and was the club's first AFLW captain.

She spent the 2023 season as forwards coach for WAFL men's side Subiaco, and has considerable coaching and community development experience with Swan Districts.


The appointment of Antonio is one of four changes to Lisa Webb's coaching panel ahead of her second season in charge, with head of footy Claire Heffernan also in her debut season in the role.

Mark Tilbury has made the move from Peel Thunder to Fremantle, the teacher having held a variety of roles with his former club. He will head up the midfield at the Dockers.

Former Adelaide premiership player Matt Connell will look after the forward line, having coached Great Britain Lions at the International Cup, and held the role of head of sport at Newman College in Perth.

Fremantle's coaches ahead of the 2024 AFLW season. Picture: Fremantle FC

Ex-Giant and Eagle Zac Langdon has taken up the role of "skill specialist and football fundamentals".

Cam Shepherd will maintain his role as director of coaching, along with Lauren Stammers (development coach), Craig Thomas (opposition analysist) and Josh Corbett (specialist coach).

Jay Van Berlo, Matt Riggio and Matt Templeton have departed the team, the latter having been appointed senior coach of WAFLW side East Fremantle.