Erin Phillips and Joel Selwood. Pictures: AFL Photos

AFL Executive General Manager Football Laura Kane is pleased to confirm the appointments of Erin Phillips and Joel Selwood to the AFL Football Operations department.

Premiership Captains in their own right, and more than 400 games combined, Phillips and Selwood will be specifically focused on the on-field football product and player engagement with the role supporting the football operations department relating to Game Analysis, Talent Pathways, Player Movement and Player Engagement across both AFL and AFLW.

"I am so pleased that we have secured the knowledge, insight and experience of two of our games most respected leaders to work within our footy department," AFL EGM Football Laura Kane said.

"Erin and Joel's on-field achievements speak for themselves; I am very much looking forward to them joining our recent appointments in Josh Mahoney and Geoff Walsh and making an immediate impact to our broader AFL Football operations team."

Erin Phillips said she was excited for the opportunity.

"I'm really excited about the opportunity to support the AFLW and continue to grow our great game for women across Australia. I'm fortunate to learn under the guidance of Laura Kane and her team. Footy has always been my passion, I owe so much to the game so I am grateful to be able to continue to contribute back to the game I love." Phillips said.

Joel Selwood said he was looking forward to being involved in footy from a different perspective.

"I look forward to working in at the AFL especially with the team lead by Laura Kane. The game of AFL I have always loved and now it's time to help it continually grow from a different seat which I can't wait for." Selwood said.

In addition to the appointments, Kane has announced the following changes to bolster the resourcing and support in two important football areas.

Dan Richardson, previously AFL Head of Umpiring, will now take on the new role of Coaching Engagement Manager.

Richardson will be in a dedicated role to support and be the key liaison between elite coaches across AFL/ AFLW and AFL head office as the AFL continues to ensure the interests of the coaches are heard and considered when making key strategic decisions.

A process will begin for a new Head of Officiating to work across all competitions including AFL, AFLW, State Leagues and Talent Pathways and oversee the operations of the ARC.

The new Head of Officiating will report to AFL GM Football Operations Josh Mahoney, whose portfolio will now include umpiring.

"Our aim is to provide further support for our coaches across both competitions, and Dan's extensive experience across clubs and the AFL along with his already established relationships with the Senior Coaching cohort will assist us greatly." Kane said.

Lisa Lawry will move to the role of Projects and Women in Umpiring Lead with a mandate to boost the AFL's efforts to identify new female talent and bring more women through the umpiring talent pathways to join the elite ranks.

The growth in this space has been apparent since Lawry began her work in Umpiring, with Women/girls registered in umpiring up 28% on last year. Overall umpire registrations are up 15% year on year. There was also 30% representation of female umpires in AFLW Season 8 (up 15% from season 7).

Lawry will also be tasked in identifying a new umpire performance training centre. A dedicated space and facility for umpire training and development.

"Lisa has done a fantastic job in creating environments and pathway programs dedicated for women and girls to start and progress in umpiring. Her new role will amplify and promote this important focus area for us.

"As we continue to invest in high performance training for our umpires, we are investing the possibility of a new dedicated facility in which Lisa will lead this work, with the end goal providing the best facilities available to umpires or officials in the country."

Pauly Vandenbergh will begin a new role as the AFL's Indigenous and Multicultural Player Engagement Manager boosting the support to clubs and engagement of Indigenous and Multicultural Players.

"The work Pauly does in this space is critical to our game and broader industry." Kane said.