Australian coaching great Bob Brett loses cancer fight

Australian tennis coaching legend Bob Brett has died after a long cancer battle, aged 67.

Brett worked with grand slam champions Boris Becker, Goran Ivanisevic, Johan Kriek and Marin Cilic, plus Australians Paul McNamee and Peter McNamara, in a career spanning almost five decades.

Becker rose to world No. 1 under the Melbourne-born coach’s tutelage between November 1987 and February 1991.

The ATP honoured Brett with the Tim Gullikson Coaching Career Award only two months ago, unanimously selecting him as its second recipient behind countryman Tony Roche.

McNamee said Brett’s passing left a “big hole” in Australian tennis.

“He’s one of the unsung heroes of Australian tennis, because of the impact he had around the world,” McNamee told the Herald Sun.

“He’s one of our greatest-ever coaches and you’d have to put him up there with Mr (Harry) Hopman, Tony Roche and Darren Cahill.

“He was a salt-of-the-earth Aussie. He always kept the accent, was a true blue guy and was never affected by his success — he was the same guy from beginning to end.”

Serena Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, posted on Twitter he was “extremely saddened” to hear of Brett’s death and described him as “one of the best coaches I’ve met”.

A protégé of the late Harry Hopman, Brett also coached top-10 players Nicolas Kiefer and Mario Ancic, steered Andrei Medvedev to the 1999 French Open final and had a hand in Kei Nishikori’s early development.

Nishikori was one of many Japanese players he oversaw, including a supervisory role with that country’s Davis Cup team, as well as consulting for the British and Canadian tennis associations.

Brett also established the Bob Brett Tennis Academy in San Remo, Italy, which is regarded among the best development programs in the world.

He had two daughters, Caroline and Katarina, while his brother, Arthur Brett, is a four-time Olympic coach in sailing.

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Rhyce Shaw to return to coaching role in 2021

Former North Melbourne head coach Rhyce Shaw will take up a role with the Gold Coast Suns in 2021.

According to multiple reports, Shaw will become the club’s head of development and will relocate to Queensland.

The 39-year-old stepped away from the game following the 2020 season for personal reasons, after one year at the helm for the Kangaroos.

He was replaced by Brisbane’s David Noble in North Melbourne’s head coaching role.

The Age is reporting that Shaw is now in good health and excited to reunite with Stuart Dew.

The two were assistant coaches under John Longmire at Sydney.

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Mark Williams joins Victorian club’s coaching staff

Mark Williams has joined Melbourne’s coaching staff for 2021, according to The Herald Sun.

The report states Williams, who has been coaching VFL club Werribee, will take up a development coaching role at the Demons.

Williams coached Port Adelaide to its one and only AFL premiership in 2004 and was at the helm for 273 games across 10 seasons.

He was also an assistant coach at Richmond before leaving at the end of 2016.

Melbourne also announced that footy boss Josh Mahoney will be departing to take up the vacant football manager position at Essendon.

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AFL 2020: Josh Mahoney, Essendon head of football role, Dan Richardson sacked, Melbourne, Alan Richardson, coaching panel

Melbourne’s former footy boss Josh Mahoney has moved across to become Essendon’s new head of footy, replacing Dan Richardson.

Mahoney had been Melbourne’s GM of Football since 2013, but was shifted into another role at the end of 2020 as ex-St Kilda coach Alan Richardson took on more responsibility.

Essendon confirmed on Tuesday that Mahoney had been appointed as the club’s new footy boss, with Mahoney releasing a statement via the club website.

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AFL 2020: Lisa Alexander, North Melbourne coaching job, Kangaroos, female senior coach AFL, AFLW

Former Australia netball coach Lisa Alexander has said she would “absolutely” consider applying for another position in the AFL, despite North Melbourne knocking back her bid to become the club’s next senior coach.

Alexander coached the Australian netball team from 2011 to 2020, winning gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2015 Netball World Cup.

Speaking on ABC’s Offsiders, Alexander said the role of a head coach in modern day sport is less about the minutia of a code than it is about management.

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Former Roo takes shots at NM


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AFL 2021, Carlton, Matthew Kreuzer, coaching role, list of Carlton coaches, 2007 AFL Draft

Carlton’s 2007 No.1 draft pick Matthew Kreuzer will return to the club in an off-field coaching role.

The 31-year-old pulled a pin on his playing career during 2020 after a season-ending injury in the opening round of the year.

Kreuzer will be Carlton’s ruck coach for season 2021, working closely with talls Marc Pittonet and Tom De Koning.

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Hollands recovering from ACL


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Sacked Suns assistant details what’s next in coaching career

Former Gold Coast Suns assistant coach Dean Solomon has confirmed he intends to seek another football job in 2022, following a 12-month sabbatical out of the game.

After nine years at the Suns, Solomon was let go as clubs looked to cut costs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Solomon said he was looking forward to taking a year off from the game to refresh, opting to start a gym in Kingscliff with fellow former Gold Coast assistant Matt Kennedy.

“It’s hard to say right now but the plan is for 12 months (out of football) and then get back in,” he said on SEN Breakfast.

“I love footy, we love what it provides for people and particularly on the back of what everyone has gone through – I love footy and coaching but I needed 12 months to develop myself.

“I’ll be looking to get back in and try and support a club and move forward to achieve success.”

Solomon’s axing at the Suns came as an immense shock to those in the football industry, with the highly-respected assistant coach let go despite having two years left on his contract.

After receiving plenty of messages after the decision was publicly announced, Solomon said he was overwhelmed with the feedback, saying his connection with staff and players at Gold Coast was the reason why he coaches.

“I haven’t searched out the social media comments, but more so the direct messaging (after I left Gold Coast),” he said.

“That’s why we coach, you just want to see young men and women within the football department blossom and provide a platform for them to be the best they can be.

“I’m really comfortable with 10 years at the Suns, I loved every moment and put my head on the pillow every night knowing I gave everything to that football club and in particular the players to help achieve their dreams.

“While we didn’t achieve any success while I was there – and that’s something that sits within me and burns – but you don’t coach to be liked, you coach to be respected.

“That’s certainly come through in the connection I’ve had after leaving the Suns.”

Solomon confirmed eight clubs had contacted him after being let go by Gold Coast, before he ultimately decided to not coach in 2021.

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Blues add retired ruckman to coaching staff

Matthew Kreuzer has been appointed Carlton’s ruck coach for 2021.

Kreuzer called time on his AFL career in September after playing 189 games across 13 seasons for the Blues.

The 31-year-old worked with Tom De Koning and Marc Pittonet during the 2020 season and will continue to mentor the pair next year.

“I loved my 13 years playing in the Navy Blue guernsey and to now have the chance to help the next generation come through is a great opportunity,” Kreuzer told Carlton’s website.

“I want this club to have the ultimate success and to still be able to play a role in helping us achieve that is an opportunity I am looking forward to and can’t wait to get to work when pre-season begins.”

Carlton Head of Football Brad Lloyd says Kreuzer returning to Carlton in a coaching capacity is a “perfect fit”.

“There are few people over the last decade who embody what it means to be a Carlton player and person more than Matthew,” Lloyd said.

“To have someone of his experience and knowledge, not just of the game but of our club, mentoring the next generation of Carlton ruckmen coming through, it is a perfect fit.

“A real focus for us is developing the players already on our list to ensure they get the most out of their ability and with the development program we now have in place, we feel we are well placed as a football club to achieve that.”

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Kangaroos complete AFL coaching panel

North Melbourne have completed a new-look AFL coaching panel under David Noble with the acquisition of Jordan Russell to oversee their midfield group.

Russell was appointed coach of the Western Bulldogs’ VFL program in October, but informed the club this week he would leave for the Kangaroos after seven years in various playing and coaching roles.

The 34-year-old joins former Adelaide assistant Heath Younie as new arrivals at Arden Street since Noble took on the vacant head coach role in November.

It completes two months of significant change in the Kangaroos’ football department.

Assistants Jarred Moore and Jade Rawlings – the brother of North football boss Brady Rawlings – were axed as part of a coaching restructure in October.

Development coach Heath Scotland, head of football performance Jason Lappin, part-time ruck coach Will Minson and Next Generation Academy coach Michael Firrito were also let go amid league-enforced cost-cutting.

John Blakey returned to North from Sydney as senior assistant before head coach Rhyce Shaw stood down for personal reasons after just one full season in charge.

The Kangaroos have retained Gavin Brown, Brent Harvey and Leigh Adams as assistants to Noble, with former Sydney and Melbourne coach Paul Roos to mentor the coaching group as part of a wider role at the Kangaroos.

Russell, a former Carlton and Collingwood player, transitioned into coaching through the Footscray VFL program after retiring from the AFL in 2013.

He was an on-field leader and premiership player in the VFL before becoming a full-time Bulldogs development coach and then assistant coach at AFL level.

“Jordan has numerous years’ experience in a range of roles, which is really attractive to us,” Brady Rawlings said.

“His strong character along with his experience from a playing and coaching perspective will be invaluable in helping us build on our talented list.

“He is a natural leader and he will be a great asset to our coaching group.”

Russell was one of the staff members stood down by the Bulldogs during the 2020 season as AFL clubs were forced to slash budgets during the coronavirus pandemic.

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