St Kilda has finalised its coaching and football department appointments ahead of the 2022 AFLW Season, with several new additions joining the panel headed by Nick Dal Santo.
Assistant coaches Lachlan Harris (forwards) and Alex Woodward (midfield) headline the inclusions, while VFLW Head Coach Dale Robinson will continue her role in the AFLW program as Development Coach.
Robinson led the Southern Saints to their second finals appearance earlier this year, and will once again take the reins in 2022 once the VFLW Season commences.
Harris, meanwhile, joins the club after 13 years’ experience in women’s football. In that time, he has worked at the WAFL and QAFL in female development programs, served as a Development Coach in the Collingwood AFLW Program and, most recently, was Head Coach of Port Melbourne’s VFLW side.
Fellow Collingwood alum, Woodward, holds extensive experience of his own following almost a decade spent between Hawthorn – as an AFL player – and the Magpies.
Head of AFLW Tessie McManus said the club would greatly benefit from the level of experience added to the women’s football department.
“We’re thrilled to have Lachlan and Alex join the Saints for the upcoming season and have Dale continue her role with the club,” McManus said.
“Lachlan’s resumé speaks volumes of his knowledge and talent and we’re rapt to have him at RSEA Park for 2022. He will join our program early next week as we gear up towards our third year in the competition.
“Alex has a terrific football IQ and his experience will be invaluable. The girls are extremely excited to work with him and he has already hit the ground running.
“Dale is extremely respected in women’s football and we are fortunate to have her as a Development Coach in our AFLW program. Anyone who knows Dale knows of her commitment and drive to get the best out of every player under her care.
“We’d also like to thank Michael Hooper, who has departed the club after serving as our backline coach last season. We wish Michael all the best for the next chapter.”
The club has also taken the opportunity to reshuffle its coaching roster ahead of the 2022 AFLW Season.
Last year’s midfield coach David Carden will now head up the defence, Premiership Bullldog Nicole Callinan has expanded her role to Development Coach/Player mentor, while 2021 backline coach Paddy Hill has transitioned into Head of Development & Strategy.
St Kilda’s AFLW coaching panel will be supported on and off the field through the club’s men’s program, with Brendon Lade (senior coach mentoring), Ben Robbins (wellbeing and performance) and Mason Wood (fitness and conditioning) to play integral roles throughout the year.
“Having Brendon, Mason and Ben support our women’s program is something which will benefit not only our AFLW players and staff, but the club as a whole,” McManus said.
“We are also extremely well-positioned with dedicated staff in our high performance, medical, welfare and operational space and are determined to help the team make an impact in 2022.”
St Kilda will commence a two-week induction period for players and officials beginning on Thursday 30 September.
St Kilda 2022 AFLW Coaching and Football personnel
Nick Dal Santo – Senior Coach
Alex Woodward – Assistant Coach (midfield)
David Carden – Assistant Coach (backline)
Lachlan Harris – Assistant Coach (forwards)
Paddy Hill – Head of Player Development & Strategy
Dale Robinson – AFLW Development Coach/VFLW Head Coach
Nicole Callinan – Development Coach/Player Mentor
Laura Fazzari – AFLW Head Physio
Ben Frith – AFLW Strength & Conditioning Manager
Leesa Huguenin – AFLW Chief Medical Officer
Emily Irvine – AFLW Head Trainer
Sarina Lococo – AFLW Sports Dietician
Chantel Pinney – AFLW Logistics Coordinator
Gemma Sammut – AFLW Operations Co-ordinator
Bernadette Sierakowski – AFLW Player Development Manager
Brendon Lade – Senior coach mentoring
Ben Robbins – Mental health, wellbeing and performance
Mason Wood – Conditioning and fitness