Collingwood will continue its investment in player wellbeing and development, with two new additions joining the player engagement department heading into the 2020 AFL season.

Former AFL player Matt Spangher has been appointed as AFL engagement manager, with Mannon Johnston coming on board as AFL engagement officer in a role that will specialise in working with our Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and multicultural athletes.  

Spangher comes to the club after an 11-year AFL career spread across West Coast, Sydney and Hawthorn. He played 56 games across the three clubs, including the 2014 AFL premiership with Hawthorn.

Since retiring from AFL in 2016, Spangher has held a number of corporate roles within the sporting industry, most recently with Greenroom Digital whilst based in London.

Spangher will join the club with a wealth of further study including a bachelor of business, masters in sports administration and an executive certificate in player development and athlete wellbeing.

Mannon Johnston joins Collingwood from Headspace where he was employed as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Clinician. Johnston holds a double bachelor degree in psychology and social and community work, and is currently completing a masters of teaching at Deakin University. 

Already a familiar face at the Holden Centre, Johnston has previously worked as an assistant coach with the club’s Next Generation Academy and as wellbeing coordinator with Collingwood’s VFL program in 2019.  

Head of player engagement, Chris Dixon, was delighted to have both Spangher and Johnston join the club’s football department.

“We’re extremely lucky to have Matt and Mannon join the player engagement team in 2020,” Dixon said.

“Matt has experienced first-hand the rollercoaster of being an AFL athlete over 11 years at three clubs.

“We were very impressed with his commitment to furthering his knowledge through work experience and further education. As an AFL athlete, he is a great example of someone who maximised their time in the system, and his knowledge will be of great assistance to our AFL players. 

“Mannon has been very impressive in his previous roles at Collingwood,” Dixon said.

“His education, experience and personal values make him a perfect fit for the new engagement officer role, and we’re really excited about the impact he can have with our athletes, particularly those of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and multicultural descent.” 

Spangher and Johnston will commence at the club over the coming months.