THE CASEY Demons will be without Sam Radford at the helm in 2021, following his decision to step down as senior coach.

Radford, who took on the role midway through the 2019 season, will return to teaching full-time, having taken a break from the profession late last year.

The change will see him remain part of Melbourne’s AFL program, for what will be his fifth season at the club. 

“An unfortunate consequence of the reduced football soft cap has meant that the role of Casey Demons Senior coach will be made a part-time role,” General Manager of Football Operations Josh Mahoney told Melbourne Media.

“Sam joined the club full-time this season as an AFL development coach, which included coaching Casey. The cancellation of the season saw Sam move back into teaching and perform a part-time role at the club.

“After many discussions, Sam has decided to return to full-time teaching and accept a role at Melbourne in Opposition Strategy/Education.

“We will begin to seek candidates for the Casey Demons Senior coach role ASAP and look forward to participating in the revised second-tier competition for 2021. We are excited at the prospect of what this new league will offer talented footballers across the east coast of Australia.”

Radford first joined the red and blue at the end of 2016, where he was an assistant coach at both VFL and AFLW level.

In 2019, he became caretaker coach of Casey, taking the reigns from Jade Rawlings, and guided the Demons to six wins from nine games.

The club will now look to fill the vacancy immediately.