MICK Stinear is set to lead Melbourne’s AFLW side into a fifth consecutive campaign, re-signing as the senior coach for 2021.

Amid such challenging times in the football industry, the contract news comes as a major boost for the Demons, who have been able to retain their inaugural leader.

“With so much uncertainty around at the moment, we are delighted that Mick has agreed to coach our AFLW team for a fifth season,” Daniel McPherson, the club’s AFLW Football Manager, told Melbourne Media.

Stinear’s record speaks for itself, with Melbourne being a top-four side in each of the league’s four seasons to date.

He has won 28 of his 38 games at the helm and took an injury-depleted side to a Preliminary Final this year, before COVID-19 brought the season to a premature close.

The 35-year-old was a talented footballer in his own right, having spent the 2003 season on Carlton’s list, and his coaching experience extends far beyond his time with Melbourne, leading the Oakleigh Chargers to multiple premierships in the TAC Cup.

But most importantly, it’s the strength of Stinear’s relationships with those around him that have made him such an asset for the Dees.

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Messages for Mick | Stinear signs on

The AFLW players have sent messages of support to their senior coach, who has signed on for a fifth season

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“Mick has been an integral part of the AFLW program from the beginning, playing a key role in establishing an environment which nurtures, cares for and challenges the girls to get the best out of themselves,” McPherson said.

“The playing group and staff within the AFLW program have enormous respect for Mick and will be thrilled to learn that he will be at the helm again for the 2021 season.”

In what has been a positive week for the AFLW competition, with the AFL unveiling its plans for next season, Melbourne’s GM of Football Operations has also expressed his excitement for what lays ahead.

“Our AFLW program has made us look and feel like a real club,” Josh Mahoney told Melbourne Media.

“We are very happy with the AFL’s announcement on Tuesday and look forward to continuing to build the best program we can for our girls next season and beyond.

“Our girls showed great resilience last season, and as a club, we have some unfinished business.”