In September 2014, Simon Goodwin was announced as Paul Roos’ successor as senior coach. After two years under Roos, Goodwin officially took the reins in September 2016. The 2017 season is his first full year as senior AFL coach. He has been appointed until at least the end of the 2019 season.
A superstar with Adelaide, Goodwin played 275 matches from 1997-2010, with only Andrew McLeod (340 games), Tyson Edwards (321), Mark Ricciuto (312), Ben Hart (311) and Nigel Smart (278) having played more matches for the Crows. He was a dual premiership player with Adelaide in 1997-98 and captained the Crows from 2008-10.
From 2011-14, Goodwin was an assistant coach with Essendon, where he became a highly regarded coaching prospect. In round 23, 2013, Goodwin filled in as Essendon senior coach.
After starting his career as a defender, he became one of the AFL’s best midfielders in the 2000s – and one of the game’s best players of the modern era.
A five-time All-Australian in 2000-01, 2005-06 and 2009, Goodwin won the Malcolm Blight Medal – Adelaide’s best and fairest award – three times in 2000 and 2005-06. He also finished runner-up in Adelaide’s club champion award in 2007-08 and third in 2009. Goodwin was also named the AFL Coaches Association player of the year in 2006.
In 2000-01, he represented Australia against Ireland in the International Rules series and in 2008 he played for the Dream Team against Victoria. He won the Michael Tuck Medal in 2006. Before his stellar AFL career, Goodwin was a talented cricketer and co-captained the South Australian under-19 team.
Regarded as one of the game’s best development coaches, McCartney joined Melbourne in February 2015, after coaching the Western Bulldogs from 2012-14.
He was initially appointed development and strategy coach, but in September 2016 was named player/coach performance manager in line with Simon Goodwin’s elevation to senior coach.
The role oversees the development of Melbourne’s coaches, along with driving the performance of the club’s player group. McCartney continues to work closely in player development with Matthew Egan.
McCartney, who is one of a handful of people to have coached at the highest level without playing a VFL/AFL match, has an outstanding coaching background in various forms of the game. For the record, his father Graham McCartney played one match for Richmond in 1957.
Originally a player with Newtown/Chilwell in the Geelong Football League, McCartney later coached Ocean Grove to four successive premierships from 1994-97.
He then became Richmond’s assistant and development coach from 1998-99 under former coach Jeff Gieschen.
From 2000-10, he was an assistant coach throughout Mark Thompson’s entire tenure at Geelong. McCartney played a pivotal role in Geelong’s two premierships in 2007 and 2009, and his legacy continued into the club’s 2011 flag.
In 2010, McCartney was named AFLCA’s assistant coach of the year.
He joined Essendon for one season under senior coach James Hird – the same time Thompson returned to the Bombers in a coaching capacity.
At the end of the 2011 season, McCartney was named coach of the Bulldogs. He coached the Dogs for three seasons, before resigning. McCartney’s time at the Bulldogs was acknowledged by many after it won the 2016 premiership.
McCartney’s experience and knowledge has already proven to be invaluable at Melbourne and he remains an integral part of Goodwin’s coaching panel.
Now in his sixth season with Melbourne, Rawlings joined the club September 2011. He was the only coach from the Mark Neeld/Neil Craig era to be part of Paul Roos’ coaching panel.
A seasoned coach in his own right, Rawlings joined Melbourne after two seasons with the Brisbane Lions under former coach Michael Voss.
Previously, Rawlings held the position of interim senior coach at Richmond, coaching the final 11 games of the 2009 season. During his time at Punt Rd, Rawlings was also senior coach of Richmond's then VFL affiliate club, Coburg Tigers.
In 2016, he was accepted into the second intake of the AFL coaching accreditation course, level four program.
Originally from Devonport, Rawlings played 148 AFL matches, including 116 for Hawthorn from 1996-2003, 29 for the Western Bulldogs from 2004-05 and three for North Melbourne in 2006.
In 2003, he finished third in Hawthorn’s best and fairest and represented Australia in the International Rules Series against Ireland.
He led the goalkicking for the Western Bulldogs in 2004.
Mathews was one of the first coaches Paul Roos brought to Melbourne, having played under the 2005 premiership coach in the Swans’ 72-year drought-breaking Grand Final win.
After playing 198 matches and kicking 45 goals for the Sydney Swans from 1997-2008, Mathews became a development coach with the Gold Coast in 2012, before he joined the red and blue.
Originally from Corowa-Rutherglen, Mathews developed in the Sydney reserves in 1996, before he made his AFL debut against the West Coast Eagles in round 16, 1997.
Mathews’ durability and reliability was a feature of his career. From round 16, 1999 to round five, 2006, he made 151 appearances from 154 matches.
After gaining a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination in 1999, Mathews stepped up considerably in 2000, finishing sixth in Sydney’s best and fairest. In 2001, he finished third.
Mathews was regarded as a courageous player and an integral part of Roos’ time as coach in the Harbour City.
Chaplin joined Melbourne in October 2016 as offensive coordinator.
The former key defender, who retired at the end of the 2016 season, played 215 AFL matches from 2004-16.
Chaplin represented Port Adelaide in 140 games from 2004-12 and made 75 appearances for Richmond from 2013-16. During his playing days, he kept an eye towards a coaching career, honing his craft at Sturt, Oakleigh Chargers in the TAC Cup and assisting with Richmond in his last few months at Punt Rd.
He made his AFL debut in round four, 2004 against the red and blue at the MCG – the same day Melbourne general manager of football operations Josh Mahoney played his first game for the Power.
Although Chaplin made just one appearance in his first season – the same year Port Adelaide won its inaugural AFL premiership – by 2006, he was a mainstay in the Power line-up and had received a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination.
In 2010, he finished second in Port Adelaide’s best and fairest award, after coming third in 2009.
In his first season with the Tigers, Chaplin finished third in the best and fairest.
Originally from Maryborough Rovers/North Ballarat, Chaplin was selected by the Power at No.15 in the 2003 NAB AFL Draft. He crossed to Richmond as a restricted free agent in 2012.
Jennings was appointed game analyst and education coordinator in September 2015.
A former North Melbourne under 19s player, Jennings spent nine years with Swinburne University, before he had 10 years at Essendon.
He worked closely with Simon Goodwin and Brendan McCartney at Essendon.
In 2015, he spent the season as opposition analyst under Luke Beveridge at the Western Bulldogs.
He also has a master of management in sports management, a post graduate certificate in teaching and learning (higher education) and an AFL executive certificate in football operations and list management.
Egan was appointed head of development in September 2016, after earning a reputation as a highly-respected coaching member with the Bombers.
The former Essendon interim senior coach – he guided the Dons in the last three rounds of the 2015 season – Egan was an outstanding key defender in a brief career, cut short by a debilitating foot injury.
Egan played 59 matches for the Cats from 2005-07 and was named All-Australian in 2007, before a fractured navicular bone prematurely ended his career.
Egan suffered it in round 22, 2007, during a marking contest with Lions great Jonathan Brown. He required immediate surgery to have screws inserted in his foot. It proved to be his last AFL match.
After retiring, Egan was a development coach with Geelong from 2009-11.
He was then an assistant coach with the Bombers from 2012-15 and head of development and VFL coach in 2016.
Egan came to Melbourne having already forged several strong relationships with the likes of Simon Goodwin, Brendan McCartney and Craig Jennings at Essendon. McCartney was also Egan’s line coach at Geelong. Egan was also a former Geelong teammate of Shannon Byrnes, who works in welfare at Melbourne.
Two-time Geelong premiership player Max Rooke was appointed to the role of development coach in November 2016.
Rooke, who was also a development coach with the Gold Coast Suns in 2016, played 135 matches for Geelong, including its 2007 and 2009 premierships, from 2002-10.
A versatile player, with a fearless approach to the game, Rooke retired in 2010 after a knee injury ended his career prematurely.
Originally a rookie with the Cats, Rooke joined Geelong from Casterton and became a highly-respected player.
He overcame several injuries throughout his career – he even went to Germany for surgery on a debilitating hamstring – and was crucial in Geelong’s premiership campaigns in the late 2000s.
In Geelong’s 2009 Grand Final win over St Kilda, Rooke kicked two goals.
At the end of the 2011 season, Rooke was appointed to Geelong’s coaching panel and spent 2012-15 in a development role with the Cats.
In late October 2015, Rooke joined Gold Coast and spent the 2016 season with the Suns.
Rooke has reunited with the likes of Brendan McCartney, Matthew Egan and Shannon Byrnes, who were all part of Geelong’s successful era and are now members of Melbourne’s football department.
Plapp played 44 AFL matches from 1998-2002, including 18 for Richmond from 1998-99 and 26 with St Kilda from 2000-02.
In his first two AFL matches for the Tigers, Plapp booted eight goals, including three on debut against Fremantle in round 14, 1998 and five the following match against Carlton. His five-goal haul earned him an AFL Rising Star nomination.
In 2008, Plapp became captain-coach of the Burnie Dockers and guided the club to a preliminary final in 2009.
He was assistant coach with Box Hill Hawks in 2010 and Williamstown in 2011, before coaching the Sandringham Dragons in the TAC Cup from 2012-14.
Plapp became senior coach of Casey Scorpions in 2015 and guided the club to the finals. In 2016, Plapp coached Casey to the minor premiership, before it lost the Grand Final to Footscray.