AFTER a year of significant change in 2020 as the serious challenges as COVID-19 swept through coaching, the industry has again seen plenty of movement this off-season.  

There has not been the dramatic turnover and job losses that rocked football departments last year, but clubs continue to search for ways to get the most out of their reduced resources.  

While some clubs are still finalising their panels, many have taken shape for the 2022 season, with some patterns emerging.

There are more part-time roles being implemented, and dual portfolios are becoming more common following the significant reduction in the football department soft cap.

Here are the changes so far for all 18 clubs' coaching groups, which will continue to take shape before the start of pre-season training.

IN: Nil
OUT: Brent Reilly 

While the coaching group is quite stable, perhaps the biggest football department move was the acquisition of Darren Burgess as the Crows' high performance manager after he helped Melbourne break its premiership drought last year. The Crows also secured Sam Dodge as their new head of strength and power, bringing more than a decade of experience with international and professional athletes. Reilly's move to SANFL club South Adelaide has opened a hole the Crows are yet to fill. Scott Burns (defence) remains Matthew Nicks' senior assistant, while Nathan van Berlo (midfield) and James Rahilly (forwards) round out the line coaches, with Michael Godden the SANFL coach.

00:59 Mins
Published on

EXCLUSIVE: Darren Burgess explains why he's leaving Melbourne

High performance guru Darren Burgess talks to Damian Barrett about his decision to join Adelaide

Published on

IN: Cameron Bruce
OUT: Dale Tapping

Just the one change for the Lions, who continue to maintain stability under senior coach Chris Fagan. Bruce brings a wealth of experience from previous roles at Hawthorn and Carlton and comes in to take over the reigns as the midfield coach from Tapping. He has a great core to work with but it's also an area of the ground the Lions need to improve to take the next step. Academy coach Josh Hunt has also departed to take up a real estate job, replaced by Bill Renner.

Cameron Bruce and Chris Fagan in 2017 ahead of a Hawthorn clash with Brisbane at the University of Tasmania Stadium in Launceston. Picture: AFL Photos

IN: Michael Voss, Aaron Hamill, Tim Clarke, Ash Hansen
OUT: David Teague, John Barker, Dale Amos, Cameron Bruce, Brent Stanton

It's a whole new coaching team for the Blues under Voss. Hansen comes in as the forward line and offensive coach after filling a similar role with the Western Bulldogs for the past four of his nine seasons there. Hamill returns to Ikon Park after 10 seasons at St Kilda and will be in charge of the backline, while Clarke has the crucial midfield role after spending time at Gold Coast and Hawthorn.

New Carlton coach Michael Voss on September 23. Picture: carltonfc.com.au

IN: Craig McRae, Justin Leppitsch, Brendon Bolton, Josh Fraser, Neville Jetta
OUT: Nathan Buckley, Robert Harvey, Brenton Sanderson, Damian Carroll

McRae's appointment as senior coach has brought significant change at Collingwood, with Leppitsch and Bolton brought in as his offsiders. Leppitsch will be head of strategy and defensive coach, while Bolton takes on the director of coaching and stoppage coach roles. Scott Selwood was elevated from development to midfield coach after Nathan Buckley departed mid-season, retaining that role for 2022. Hayden Skipworth remains as forwards coach, while line coaches Harvey and Sanderson departed at the end of 2021. Josh Fraser has returned to the club as head of academy, replacing Carroll, who was poached by St Kilda. Jetta is a new appointment in development.

Newly appointed Collingwood coach Craig McRae. Picture: collingwoodfc.com.au

IN: Dale Tapping, Alex Rance, Brent Stanton
OUT: Dan Jordan, James Kelly

Tapping was offered a contract to remain with Brisbane but returned to Melbourne for family reasons, landing at Essendon where he will lead the forwards in 2022, replacing Jordan. Rance has joined the club as a part-time development coach, reuniting with former Richmond assistants Ben Rutten and Blake Caracella. Stoppage coach Kelly departed ahead of the 2021 season, stoppage duties to predominantly fall under Caracella's portfolio in 2022. Brent Stanton has returned to the club as VFL coach, replacing Leigh Tudor, who will focus on development alongside Cam Roberts. Daniel Giansiracusa remains as an assistant coach.   

IN: Jaymie Graham  
OUT: David Hale

The Dockers were thrilled to secure Graham from West Coast, where he was contracted for one more season. The 38-year-old was keen to further his experience in coaching after missing out on senior coaching roles and will take on the forward line as a direct replacement for Hale, who joined premiership teammate Sam Mitchell at Hawthorn. The only other coaching change at Fremantle was with WAFL affiliate Peel Thunder where Geoff Valentine replaced Cam Shephard. Josh Carr (midfield) and Matthew Boyd (defence) remain as assistants, with Joel Corey filling the role of midfield and development coach.

Jaymie Graham when he was stand-in West Coast coach in round two, 2018. Picture: AFL Photos

IN: James Kelly, Eddie Betts
OUT: Corey Enright, Matthew Knights, Matthew Scarlett

The Cats have made significant changes after several key departures, with Enright (St Kilda) and Knights (West Coast) joining rival clubs, while Scarlett has taken a year away from the game. Kelly joins as an assistant coach, while Betts will start as a part-time development coach in January. Ball-movement coach Nigel Lappin remains in place, but there is work to do to fill the other roles around Chris Scott. Development coach Shaun Grigg could be elevated, while former Cat and ex-Melbourne and Essendon assistant Matthew Egan has been linked to the club.

New Cats development coach Eddie Betts at GMHBA Stadium on October 7, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

IN: Steven King, Brad Miller
OUT: Josh Francou, Tim Clarke

King will be Stuart Dew's right-hand man after heading to the Suns following a successful 10-year stint at the Western Bulldogs. King will not only be Dew's senior assistant, but also take control of Gold Coast's young midfield following Francou's return to South Australia for family reasons. Miller will be the forward line coach, a role he had with Greater Western Sydney before spending some time at Sydney University. The Suns are also looking for one more development coach.

IN: Nil
OUT: Luke Kelly

There's great stability at the Giants with Leon Cameron overseeing an unchanged group of assistants that include Steve Johnson, Amon Buchanan, Adam Schneider and Mark McVeigh. VFL coach Kelly has moved on to a role with Port Adelaide and has not been replaced yet, while Craig Jennings has been brought in as a part-time opposition and strategy coach.

IN: Adrian Hickmott, David Hale, Robert Harvey 
OUT: Alastair Clarkson, Brendon Bolton, Craig McRae

Clarkson's departure led to both internal movements and external appointments to make sure new coach Sam Mitchell had experienced support. With McRae and Bolton joining Collingwood, the Hawks secured Harvey (Collingwood), Hickmott (West Coast) and Hale (Fremantle) from rival clubs to serve as Mitchell's assistant coaches, alongside the re-signed Chris Newman. Specific lines won't be assigned until later this year. Andy Collins was elevated to head of development after being senior assistant at Box Hill last year, while Clint Proctor moved from assistant coach with Box Hill to senior coach in 2022. Andy Otten remains in development. 

Sam Mitchell and James Sicily chat before the Hawthorn-Collingwood game in R21, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

IN: Nil
OUT: Nil

The coaching team is settled, with little movement anticipated for the premiers unless a rival swoops on Simon Goodwin's assistant group in the coming weeks. The Demons have lost performance manager Darren Burgess, who joined Adelaide and was replaced by understudy and head of strength and conditioning Selwyn Griffith. Meanwhile, experienced administrator Marcus Wagner joined the club from Collingwood, replacing Daniel McPherson, who joined North Melbourne.  

IN: Nil
OUT: Nil
 
Following sweeping changes 12 months ago led by the appointment of David Noble, the Kangaroos have the same slate of coaches for 2022. Anthony Rocca will now assist Jordan Russell with North's young midfield group, in addition to his ruck coaching that will now include new acquisition Callum Coleman-Jones. John Blakey (defence and senior assistant) and Heath Younie (forwards) remain the other line coaches. The Roos will add former Adelaide forward Tom Lynch in a part-time role.

IN: Luke Kelly
OUT: Jarrad Schofield, Michael Voss

The Power panel was stripped of two important members when senior assistant Michael Voss was appointed Carlton senior coach and midfield coach Jarrad Schofield joined West Coast. A reshuffle has taken place, with Brett Montgomery moving from defence to replace Schofield as the new midfield coach. Kelly crossed from Greater Western Sydney and is the Power's midfield development coach. Chad Cornes has been elevated from development to backline coach, while Nathan Basset remains forwards coach. SANFL coach Matt Lokan is also forwards development coach, with retired defender Tyson Goldsack still in place as backline development coach.

GWS assistant coach Luke Kelly, recipient of the 2020 Phil Walsh Memorial Scholarship. Picture: GWS Giants

IN: David Teague
OUT: Nil

After two-plus seasons in the senior chair at Carlton, Teague joins Damien Hardwick's team as the Tigers look to put themselves back into premiership contention in 2022. Although his role is yet to be specifically titled, Teague will likely do something around ball movement. Xavier Clarke will also step up from the VFL to a line role next season, while Steve Morris will take over the VFL reins.

Carlton coach David Teague during round 21, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

IN: Corey Enright, Damian Carroll
OUT: Aaron Hamill, Adam Skrobalak

A couple of changes as the Saints look to rebound from a disappointing season, with Enright a huge inclusion to take care of the team's defence. One of the most decorated half-backs of the modern era, the six-time All Australian has spent the past four years as Geelong's forward line coach and will now mentor a young Saints defence that includes Dougal Howard, Callum Wilkie and Tom Highmore. Carroll joins as the head of development and learning, a similar role to the one he left at Collingwood.

Corey Enright chats with Gary Rohan during the Cats' clash against St Kilda in round nine on May 14, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

IN: Nil
OUT: Nil

The Swans went through a ton of changes 12 months ago and had every reason to be happy with their structure following a terrific 2021 season. Don Pyke was in demand but pulled out of the race to be Collingwood's coach and will remain in charge of strategy and performance. Ben Matthews (defence), Jarrad McVeigh (forwards), Dean Cox (midfield and stoppage) and Jeremy Laidler (VFL and Academy) ensure there's great continuity beneath John Longmire.

IN: Jarrad Schofield, Matthew Knights, Daniel Pratt
OUT: Jaymie Graham, Adrian Hickmott  

Schofield arrives as a highly rated midfield coach from Port Adelaide and will take on the new strategy and stoppage role at the Eagles. He is expected to play a key role in helping shape the game style in 2022 and was chased by the Eagles after three seasons at the Power. Knights will be the midfield coach, replacing Hickmott and bringing a wealth of experience from Geelong, where he held the same role. Pratt has returned to the AFL program after coaching the Eagles' AFLW and WAFL teams and will lead the defence, replacing Graham, with Luke Webster remaining as forwards coach. Michael Prior has replaced Pratt as AFLW coach.

Jarrad Schofield during Port Adelaide's clash against West Coast in round three, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

IN: TBC
OUT: Ashley Hansen, Steven King   

The Bulldogs have two assistant coach vacancies after the departures of senior pair Hansen and King, who joined Carlton and Gold Coast respectively. Hansen was in charge of the forwards and offensive system, while King was Luke Beveridge's senior assistant, midfield and ruck coach, and viewed as a future senior coach. Rohan Smith remains as backline coach, with Jamie Maddocks and Travis Varcoe in development and Stewart Edge leading the Bulldogs' VFL team.