The Collingwood Football Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Sam Wright as Senior Coach of the Club’s AFLW program.
He joins the Magpies after two seasons serving as an Assistant Coach with North Melbourne’s AFLW side.
Hailing from Katamatite in Northern Country Victoria, Wright was drafted to North Melbourne in 2008 and went on to play 136 games for the Kangaroos before his retirement from AFL in 2019.
Following his elite playing career, Wright joined the Australian Ballet where he spent three years as a Dancer Welfare and Development Coordinator before he joined Cricket Victoria where he has spent time as a Player Development Manager and worked with the Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars.
Wright becomes the Club’s third AFLW coach since the side’s establishment in 2016 after the Board ratified the decision this week.
The Coaching Selection Panel – consisting of Paul Licuria, Craig Kelly, Craig McRae, Jess Burger, Brendon Bolton, Clare Pettyfor and Graham Wright – met with candidates as part of an extensive process and determined Sam as the best coach for Collingwood’s AFLW program.
Collingwood Executive General Manager of Football Graham Wright said:
“We’re thrilled to announce the appointment of Sam Wright as our AFLW Senior Coach.
“Our recruitment process for this role was extremely thorough and we left no stone unturned in finding the right coach to lead our AFL program into its next chapter.
“From a criteria perspective we wanted a coach who could foster a high-performance environment, build and maintain strong relationships with both players and staff and have a strong foundation in developing people and footballers.
“Over the course of the process, it became apparent that Sam not only met all our outlined criteria but is also a leader who embodies our values as a Club.”
Collingwood President Jeff Browne said:
“On behalf of the Collingwood Board, I congratulate and welcome Sam Wright to our Club.
“Sam’s alignment with Collingwood’s vision for our AFLW program is key to our future success and we are excited about what lies ahead.
“While Sam brings extensive experience within our game as both an AFL player and a coach, the work he has done to develop himself as both a person and a leader in a number of diverse environments outside of our game is equally as impressive.
“His background, combined with his character, will greatly benefit our program and we look forward to seeing him play a pivotal role in driving the continued development and growth of our playing group.”
Sam Wright, 33, said he was looking forward to this new opportunity.
“It’s an honour to be named the AFLW Senior Coach of the Collingwood Football Club,” Wright said.
“I am grateful to be able to play a role alongside every player and staff member in driving elite standards within the AFLW program which will in turn lead to success.
“I look forward to meeting this talented group of footballers very soon and cannot wait to get to work in what will be a very exciting next chapter of this program where we will strive to get better, together.”
Sam Wright will commence in the role in January, 2024.