15/04/2024

Lauren Arnell will take charge at Alberton Oval in the Port Adelaide's first AFLW campaign (Image: Port Adelaide/Design: Will Cuckson)

Former Carlton and Brisbane AFLW player, Lauren Arnell is named as Port Adelaide's inaugural head coach in anticipation of the new season.

Former Carlton and Brisbane AFLW player, Lauren Arnell is named as Port Adelaide’s inaugural head coach in anticipation for the seventh season of the competition.

Arnell’s appointment finalises the head coach for all of the expansion sides, following Bec Goddard (Hawthorn), Natalie Wood (Essendon) and Scott Gowans (Sydney).

Having been at Carlton and Brisbane as a player, Arnell becomes the competition’s first ever coach to experience playing in the AFLW.

The primary driving factor, for Arnell, to accept the position was culture – explaining to media on Tuesday that the people involved at Alberton made the decision easy.

“I think, just in getting to know Juliet Haslam and Chris Davies through the process, it became clear pretty quickly that this is a place that I want to be and a program I want to be heavily involved with,” Arnell said.

“Being a good person is really important, particularly with athletes, I think that so many people look up to athletes and coaches in my position to be role models and I take that very seriously in my life, and I’m looking forward to supporting that… culture is so valuable and I think it creates an environment for high performance that is really the focus for us.”

The next step for Port Adelaide is to build the team in preparation for the new season that begins in August.

“It’s quite obvious, building the team around us, on and off the field is the first task ahead, and culture forms the biggest piece of that for myself and for the other staff that we already have in place,” Arnell stated.

“There’s no doubt the Port Adelaide brand of football is highly competitive, contested, smart footy players who use the ball well. I think you’ll see that, that certainly comes into our AFLW program as well.”

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High profile names such as the daughter of a Port great, Erin Phillips, and the AFLW’s most recent ‘Best and Fairest’ winner, Emily Bates.

“I think we’ve gotta be mindful, obviously Adelaide is going from a ‘one team’, to a ‘two team’ town pretty quickly, and with this announcement there will be a fair bit of work to be done over the next couple of weeks… I can tell you that we’ll be doing a lot of work over the next number of weeks in terms of player signings.”

“I think it’s realistic to expect we’ll have a great group of people working really hard to continue the success of Port Adelaide, obviously we’re in a space now where the AFLW’s yet to announce when the season begins, we’re waiting on some clarity around player signings.”

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