THE AFL Players' Association has a new boss with Australian Cricketers' Association CEO Paul Marsh appointed to succeed Matt Finnis.
Marsh joins the AFLPA after nine years in his previous role and a total of 13 year in cricket.
Marsh, the son of former Test wicketkeeper and current chief selector Rod, previously worked as the sales and marketing manager at Port Adelaide before joining the ACA as member services and operations manager in 2001.
It is unclear what the appointment means for stand-in CEO Ian Prendergast, who has performed the top job at the AFLPA since the departure of Finnis to St Kilda in April.
Prendergast was at the announcement and left without comment, although it is believed he addressed staff on Tuesday morning and told them of his intention to remain in the interim role until at least September 1.
Marsh is contracted to the ACA until then.
AFLPA president Luke Ball said the players hoped Prendergast, who played 65 games for Carlton, would remain with the organisation.
"The board are certainly hopeful he'll do so," Ball said.
"We thank him for his job as acting CEO, love his passion for the players' association and that's something we'll work through with him in the period up until September."
Marsh said he was approached and hadn't previously thought about applying for the position.
Ball said it had been a "tough recruitment process" and it had been Marsh's experience through "multiple CBA negotiations and the results he had been able to deliver" that gave him an edge.
"There's clearly issues and challenges for players at the moment that we're all aware of – what's happening at Essendon is an example in particular," he said.
"Year by year there are constant challenges for players whether it be welfare, on the field, off the field.
"Paul's track record in dealing with players and delivering great benefits to players is fantastic."
Marsh, who supports Port Adelaide, said he was yet to meet new AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan.
He said building relationships within the League was a priority for him.
"I've been in cricket for close to 13 years so I've had a good run there and I think I needed a new challenge. The AFLPA is a very strong organisation in a sport that's in my view the strongest in this country," Marsh said.
"It appeals to me. I love AFL and the combination of those things, the new challenge, etcetera, is what's excited me about it.
"One of the things I'll be focusing on from the get-go will be going and building relationships with everyone in this industry, from the AFL to the clubs to the players to the staff to the board.
"That will be a huge focus from day one."
He also said his experience in negotiating collective bargaining agreements while working in cricket would be transferable to his new role.
"The issues the athletes have, how to deal with athletes, with governing bodies, clubs, the business of sport are probably the major things," he said.
"There are a lot of issues cricket has in common with football and I think I have good experience dealing with the majority of the things the AFLPA will face going forward."
Marsh said he hadn't yet spoken about the role with anyone outside his family and hadn't formed an opinion on contentious issues like the bump or a potential All Stars representative game.
Instead, he said he would focus heavily on delivering what the players wanted.
"It's really hard for me to talk about the specific issues," he said.
"What I believe is most important in this game is understanding what your members want, and when you know what they want, you go out and try and get it.
"If that's what they want – [an All Stars game] – as I understand from what I've read in the press that's something they're keen on, but I'd like to talk to them before I start making any big statements about that."