The Greater Western Sydney GIANTS have finalised changes to the club’s senior coaching group as a result of assistant coach Mark McVeigh’s unavailability for the 2016 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
The GIANTS have elevated NEAFL development coach Nick Walsh to the position of interim backline coach with former Collingwood premiership captain Nick Maxwell providing support to Walsh in a specialist role.
The role sees Maxwell expand his involvement with the GIANTS and is in addition to his existing work with the GIANTS leadership group.
Walsh has been with the GIANTS since 2011 and steps up from his role as development coach working with the GIANTS' NEAFL side.
The coaching restructure follows the recent ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport that required 34 past and present Essendon players, including Mark McVeigh, to sit out the 2016 season.
The GIANTS are continuing to work with Mark to find opportunities to support him over the next ten months before he resumes as assistant coach in November.
GIANTS Head Coach Leon Cameron has welcomed the elevation of Walsh.
“We looked at a range of options to cover Mark for this season and we believe that Nick Walsh stepping into this role is the best option,” Cameron said.
“Nick is a very impressive young coach with good knowledge of the game and has fantastic relationships with both the playing group and coaching staff.
“As a club we are obviously right behind Mark and his family and we look forward to Mark returning as an assistant coach overseeing our backline ahead of the 2017 season."
Nick Walsh said he’s looking forward to the opportunity.
“The circumstances under which I’m stepping into this role are unfortunate but nonetheless I’m excited about the challenge ahead this season,” Walsh said.
“With the support and input from people like Nick Maxwell, Leon Cameron, our NEAFL Coach Brad Miller and experienced players like Heath Shaw, Joel Patfull and Phil Davis leading the young group, I believe the backline is well positioned for the year ahead."
Nick Maxwell’s expanded position with the club will see him work one-on-one with the GIANTS backline as part of his support role to Nick Walsh.
“It’s a unique set of circumstances for everyone involved and this outcome provides maximum stability for the playing and coaching group,” Maxwell said.
“I’m looking forward to taking on more responsibility at the club with this specialist support role, while still continuing my existing leadership roles at the GIANTS and Melbourne Storm, as well as my media commitments."
The GIANTS will now look to fill the role of NEAFL development coach for the 2016 season.
Joined the GIANTS in 2011
Former International Rookie with Melbourne Demons
Former captain of Ireland - U17 International Rules
2015 NEAFL Backline Coach
2013-2014 Performance Coach - Ireland International Rules
Played 208 games for Collingwood
2007-2013 Collingwood Captain
2010 Collingwood Premiership captain
Leadership coach at GIANTS and Melbourne Storm
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