Matthew Clarke during the semi-final between Adelaide and Sydney at Norwood Oval on November 18, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

MATTHEW Clarke has stepped down as Adelaide's ruck coach to focus solely on coaching the club's women's team.

Clarke had been performing dual roles as the men's ruck coach and women's head coach since the AFLW's inception in 2017, but the 50-year-old - a dual AFLW premiership coach - has now relinquished his role with the men's team which he held for the past 15 years.

Adelaide has appointed Sam Baulderstone as Clarke's replacement as the men's ruck coach.

Baulderstone was regarded as among the SANFL's finest ruckmen during a 137-game career at Norwood, which featured two flags.

Since retiring in 2020, Baulderstone has worked for the past two years as midfield coach of reigning SANFL premiers Glenelg.


Adelaide footy boss Adam Kelly said Baulderstone's appointment would enable Clarke, a qualified veterinarian nicknamed Doc, to shift his year-round focus to the AFLW program.

"The appointment comes as a result of the increasing demands on our AFLW head coach, Doc Clarke, and his dedication to that role," Kelly said.