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Melbourne Football Club

Stinear to steer team in right direction

Stinear new women's coach Michael Stinear says he can't wait to coach the women's team

MICHAEL Stinear was a vice-captain of the under-18 Vic Metro team that consisted of the likes of Jobe Watson, Kade Simpson and Nick Malceski in 2002.

In 2003, he spent a year on Carlton’s rookie list, before he moved to Queensland, winning the 2004 Grogan Medal with Mt Gravatt – the Brownlow Medal equivalent in the AFLQ. He later played in a flag with the Vultures, along with former Melbourne player Rohan Bail.

Stints with St Kilda City, De La Salle and Dalyston followed and in the past six years he has been an administrator/coach with Oakleigh Chargers in the TAC Cup. Until last weekend, when he guided the Chargers to the preliminary final, the 32-year-old had been coach of the club for the past three years. 

Now, he is set to start a new chapter at Melbourne, as the club’s women’s coach and development coach with the men’s team.

For the likeable and impressive young man – he is the brother-in-law of highly respected commentator Anthony Hudson and brother of Eloise Stinear, a former staff member in the AFL media department – his new role is something he can’t wait to start.

“I love footy and I’m very thankful for the opportunities that it’s given me and it’s brought me here to Melbourne, so I’m looking forward to the next phase,” he told Melbourne TV.  

“It’s pretty exciting. It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks.

“I’ve had my head buried in the [Oakleigh] Chargers season and then I had a phone call on a Wednesday afternoon from Debbie Lee at Melbourne and then about five days later after a few interviews, I got offered the opportunity and took it with both hands, so I was really excited.”

Stinear said his first thought when Lee contacted him was “what a great opportunity”.

“To have a club like Melbourne interested in you and how you’re going – I was thrilled with that opportunity. The first interview was with Brendan McCartney, Jade Rawlings, Josh Mahoney and Debbie Lee. [I] was really impressed with the quality of those people,” he said.

“The message that they were selling – in terms of Melbourne wanting to develop their people, with one club and two teams – I just walked away from that interview being genuinely impressed with the direction that the club’s heading.

“I’ve always admired Melbourne – they were one of the pioneers in women’s footy and then following that interview, there was a second interview on a Monday with Simon Goodwin, Josh Mahoney, Daisy Pearce and Debbie Lee.

“Again, it was a really thorough process and it felt comfortable and it felt like a really good opportunity. That afternoon, I got offered the role, so I’m very excited about what lies ahead.”

Originally drafted from Beaconsfield/Dandenong Stingrays, Stinear joined the Blues after winning Dandenong’s best and fairest award.

A small defender/midfielder, he was regarded as a fine leader, even from a young age. That leadership has continued throughout his time as coach in the TAC Cup.

Stinear will not only coach the Melbourne women’s team, but will also have a development role with the men’s side. He’ll become a line coach with Casey in the VFL.

“It’s a unique and pretty special opportunity to progress my development as a coach,” he said.

Stinear said he couldn’t wait for draft day on October 12, when Melbourne assembles the rest of its list for the inaugural AFL women’s competition.

“I’ve got a niece that was playing soccer and netball and is now determined to be an AFL star, so to be able to see the excitement that it’s brought to a lot of people – I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.

“I’m really keen on creating an environment, where players want to be. They want to come to training, learn and develop and take ownership for their own development.

“As a club, we provide the resources and people to be able to help them progress, but they really need to take that ownership for themselves and really train with purpose and want to improve as players and people.

“A strength of mine is my relationships and being able to work with people, and the opportunity to learn from Simon Goodwin and Brendan McCartney – they’re just quality football people that excel in that coaching space and teaching space. I’m really looking forward to developing myself as a coach as well.”

Stinear said there was a lot of excitement leading into the first AFL women’s season.

“The 21st of November, we start our first training session and then early February we’re being thrown into games,” he said.

“The balance will be trying to get the group to come together and trying to develop a game style of 16-a-side is going to be different to the men’s format.

“It’s going to be pretty fast-paced and a pretty brutal version of the game. We just want all of our players to walk away from this first season, having really enjoyed representing the Melbourne footy club and wanting to come back for more.”