The AFLW Collingwood Magpies seem to have scored a coup by bringing former Hawthorn Hawk Daniel Harford into the fold as an assistant coach.
Harford will be the deputy of incumbent Coach Wayne Siekman and a new cadre of assistants.
“Harf” as he is known to the footy players, Harford is cause for positive vibes for the AFLW Magpies.
Emma King could barely contain her glee. Actually, she did not contain that glee in the least, telling foxfooty.com. au, “He’s an awesome coach. Harf has come in and created a really good bond. He has that professionalism, but he’s also understanding of players and wants to make sure we have mutual respect for each other.It’s an open relationship for everyone so we can say how we feel, what’s working and what’s not working.”
In the old days, the words of a coach were law. These days, a dynamic of more listening and comradery is the order of the day for the oft delicate egos of professional athletes, although the AFLW has not ascended to that plateau as of yet.
Harford will handle coaching duties for the midfielders. He has plenty of coaching experience on which to rely, based on his efforts in the VAFA and the EFL, although this is his first time coaching women.
It was King herself, not us, who mentioned that there is possibly a difference between coaching men and women. If we were to suggest such a thing, the pillory would be out before the sound of our words had faded.
King said, “You have to explain things differently to women. We ask a lot more questions.”
Along with the coaches, the playing group has a new dynamic. The leadership group has expanded to six and Steph Chiocci has been reinstated as the skipper. Christina Bernardi and Emma Grant have been lifted to vice-captains.
Coming off the success and acceptance the AFLW enjoyed during its first season, there is a new spirit of improvement prevailing, with players putting in the sort of off-season training that will lift the level of the game a notch or two.