THE Western Bulldogs are on the hunt for a new rebel VFLW coach after Sean Kavanagh announced his resignation on Friday.
Kavanagh, who coached the Bulldogs to the VFLW Grand Final in his first season of 2019, has decided to spend more time with his family after two seasons badly affected by COVID restrictions.
The Bulldogs missed this year’s finals on percentage, finishing seventh with seven wins from 14 matches, meaning Kavanagh steps away with a record of 19 wins and 12 losses in 31 games in charge.
ROAD TO THE DRAFT VFLW proves a strong feeder again in AFLW Draft
Kavanagh has also coached the Victorian Schoolboys team since 2009, winning eight national titles including the past six in a row before COVID, and has been the All Australian coach four times, overseeing three tours of South Africa.
He joined the Bulldogs from VAFA club Old Scotch, where he was the senior assistant coach in 2017-18 and took charge of one of the teams in the 2015 Young Guns game amid stints at three TAC Cup (now NAB League) clubs.
"After three years leading the Western Bulldogs and 17 years of coaching, I’ve decided to step away as head coach and take a break from club footy for 2022," Kavanagh told westernbulldogs.com.au.
"I'm really looking forward to getting away with family and supporting my kids in their sporting and educational pursuits next year.
"After the incredible highs of 2019 and reaching the VFLW Grand Final, to two years of a global pandemic and its associated restrictions and limitations, it has certainly been a rollercoaster ride.
"I've loved my time at the club – the playing group has been magnificent, as have all the coaching staff and off-field crew … a massive thanks goes out to (Bulldogs general manager of women's footy) Debbie (Lee) and 'Burkey' (AFLW coach Nathan Burke) for all of their support throughout some challenging years.
"I can't wait to support the girls next year from the other side of the fence."
Lee thanked Kavanagh for his contribution at the Kennel.
"Kav's enthusiasm and commitment to getting the best out of our players was admirable, and we're extremely thankful for what he brought to our VFLW program over the last three years," she told the Bulldogs' website.
"We wish him and his family all the best for the future."