The Collingwood Football Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Stephen Symonds as senior coach of the AFLW program.

Symonds joins the Magpies after three years with Norwood Football Club as senior women’s coach (SANFL) and academy head coach.

With a career in senior coaching spanning over 20 years, Symonds has extensive experience in high performance and development environments.

In 2016 Symonds was recruited by Norwood to establish its inaugural women’s program. The Redlegs are now considered to have one of the leading female programs in South Australia, with Symonds leading the team to two grand finals and a premiership in 2017.

Symonds received South Australia’s Team Coach of the Year award in 2017.

Symonds’ previous football experience involves 12 years as a senior assistant coach in SANFL men’s programs and involvement with the AFL in game development. Currently 48 players from Symonds coached programs are on AFLW lists.

Collingwood General Manager of Women’s Sport Jane Woodlands-Thompson said the breadth of experience Symonds possesses and the success he has had in establishing female football programs was critical to the appointment.

 “Stephen’s extensive experience in senior performance football impressed the panel right from the start,” Woodlands-Thompson said.

“Stephen has an impeccable record in developing pre-elite programs and has demonstrated his ability to create and fast-track programs to success.

“We’re really looking forward to having Stephen join and lead our AFLW on-field operations and share in what is expected to be an exciting 2020 campaign.”

Collingwood’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Anderson, added: “In addition to Symonds wealth of experience, he shares our belief in the direction we want to take our AFLW program.

“I have confidence that Symonds will continue to shape what we trust will be a successful future.”

Symonds will take up his position with Collingwood in two weeks and familiarise himself with the AFLW operation, and many of the Collingwood AFLW players, by assisting with the Magpies VFLW campaign.