Former St Kilda champion Lenny Hayes will join the Greater Western Sydney GIANTS as an assistant coach.
Hayes has agreed to return home to Sydney and join Leon Cameron's coaching group ahead of the 2016 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
Hayes retired at the end of the 2014 season following 297 games for St Kilda.
Hayes has spent the last 12 months working for the AFL, after being awarded the Ron Evans Scholarship, and providing special comments for ABC Grandstand.
The 35-year old grew up in Sydney and played for Pennant Hills before being drafted to St Kilda with pick 11 in the 1998 AFL Draft. He went on to carve out a highly decorated 16-year career with the Saints.
Hayes said he was excited to be returning to Sydney to join the GIANTS.
“I’ve been really impressed with the GIANTS this season and I’m looking forward to working with this driven young playing group,” said Hayes.
“Leon Cameron has the team playing an exciting brand of football and the club is clearly heading in the right direction.
“The GIANTS have had a really positive year both on and off field and to be able to help grow the game in the region I'm originally from is something I’m really passionate about."
Chief Executive David Matthews welcomed Hayes to the GIANTS.
“Lenny Hayes is one of the most respected figures in our game and for him to join our coaching staff speaks volumes of the culture we are building at the GIANTS,” said Matthews.
“We’ve had our most successful season yet on the field and with a string of young stars re-signing as well as crowds and memberships being at a record high, 2016 is already shaping as a big year for the club.
Coach Leon Cameron said Hayes is a great addition to his coaching staff.
“Lenny had such a decorated playing career and he’s a wonderful acquisition for our club,” said Cameron.
“He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the GIANTS that our young playing group is sure to embrace."
Lenny Hayes will commence as a GIANTS assistant coach in November.
Lenny Hayes Fact Box:
- 297 AFL games
- St Kilda captain (2004 & 2007)
- 3 x Trevor Barker Award winner as St Kilda Best & Fairest (2003, 2010 & 2012)
- 3 x All Australian (2003, 2005 & 2009)
- 3 x Grand Finalist
- 2010 Norm Smith medallist