Collingwood has added great experience and expertise to the staff of new AFL senior coach Craig McRae with the appointments of Justin Leppitsch and Brendon Bolton.

Leppitsch and Bolton join Collingwood with rich histories in the game, senior coaching experience and premiership success as assistant coaches among their list of achievements. Both also have strong relationships with McRae.

Bolton has accepted a role as Director of Coaching and will also work specifically with the midfield.

Leppitsch becomes Head of Strategy and will also hold line coaching responsibilities for defence.

Leppitsch’s relationship with McRae is more than a quarter of a century long. They were triple premiership team-mates with Brisbane who later shared in success as assistants at Richmond.

Leppitsch coached the Lions for three seasons between 2014-2017

Bolton shared in Hawthorn’s three-peat premiership success as an assistant coach across the years 2009 – 2015 and worked with McRae on the staff of Alastair Clarkson at Hawthorn this year following 77 games in the top job at Carlton.

“We set out to appoint a team of coaches who complemented each other, a group of diverse football thinkers and relationship builders who have also shared in a lot of success that could mould our young squad. With the appointments of Justin and Brendon I think we’ve gone a fair way to doing that,” Collingwood GM of Football, Graham Wright, said.

“We see that Justin’s and Brendon’s attributes complement our profile well. Approximately half of our list in 2022 will comprise of 1-3 year players. The football education we provide them, therefore, will be important.

“Craig is very strong on establishing habits that will underpin a collective approach to success. We are all really pleased to have Brendon and Justin join the program.”