MELBOURNE has finalised its 2022 AFL Women’s coaching panel, with former player Shae Sloane and AFL key forward Ben Brown appointed to key coaching roles within the program.
Sloane, who retired from the AFLW competition earlier this year, has returned to the club to take up a role as a development coach.
The former No.7 has been working closely with the Demons’ backline, building on the contribution she made last season, having unofficially become an important part of Senior Coach Mick Stinear’s coaching group whilst injured.
Brown will join the women’s program fresh off an AFL premiership and will look to provide a new and unique perspective to the group.
The Melbourne forward has been appointed a specialist coach and will assist the Demons’ talls, while partnering with Justin Crough to support the rucks.
Stinear said Sloane and Brown’s experience and expertise will be of strong benefit to the playing group.
“Shae is a much loved and well-respected person in our program and we’re very grateful she accepted the opportunity to return as a coach,” he told Melbourne Media.
“Due to injury in recent years, Shae has already played a significant part in supporting the coaches and players on game day and the players will benefit greatly from her experience, teaching skills and personable approach.
“As a club we are excited to support Shae on her coaching pathway.
“Ben has been a great supporter of women’s football since its inception and brings with him previous experience from his time working with North Melbourne’s AFLW Team.
“Ben’s knowledge and experience, combined with his genuine care and passion, will be a great asset for our program and we are thankful for the support of his young family allowing him to spend time with us on top of his busy AFL schedule.”
The pair join a well-rounded team, which has seen some additional movement since last season.
Under Stinear’s leadership, Tamara Hyett has had the opportunity to add to her responsibilities, being elevated from a development coach to an assistant coach.
The move follows the departure of former backline coach Pat McKenna.
“Unfortunately, due to study, Pat has stepped away from the club. His energy and commitment will be missed but this has created an opportunity for Tam to step up into an assistant role, overseeing the development of our backs,” Stinear said.
“Tam has a great ability to connect with individuals and support them in achieving their role for the team and, with her knowledge and experience, has a unique ability to teach and reinforce the fundamentals of the game.”
Hyett will work alongside Jane Lange (senior assistant coach, forwards) and Peter Mercoulia (assistant coach, midfield), who continue in their roles for another season.
Brooke Patterson (development coach, midfield) and Jon Stinear (development coach, forwards) round out this season’s coaching panel, while the addition of Vincent Chungue in an opposition analysis role will further add to the group’s depth.
“We are also fortunate to have the skills and experience of Vincent Chungue, who has been in a dual role supporting both AFL and AFLW programs and brings with him great learnings and experience off the back of a successful men’s season,” Stinear said.
“Vin will take on more responsibility this season, casting his eye on the opposition and preparing the group for what to expect on match day.”
With the 2022 pre-season campaign well and truly underway, Stinear said he couldn’t be happier with the group he has in place – and is full of confidence as to what it can achieve.
“We’re proud and excited of the coaching team we’ve assembled to support our players for the 2022 season,” he said.
“We have a diverse group that complement each other with their varying experiences and skillsets.
“All coaches are invested in the holistic development of our players and passionate about playing their role to help this group maximise their potential as a team.”
Melbourne’s 2022 AFLW Coaching Panel
Senior Coach – Mick Stinear
Senior Assistant – Jane Lange
Assistant Coach – Peter Mercoulia (VFLW Senior Coach)
Assistant Coach – Tamara Hyett
Development Coach – Brooke Patterson (VFLW Senior Assistant)
Development Coach – Shae Sloane
Development Coach/Runner – Jon Stinear
Specialist Coach – Ben Brown (Talls/Ruck)
Specialist Coach – Justin Crough (Ruck)
Opposition & Analyst – Vincent Chungue