Local footy: Chris Grant appointed co-coach of Spotswood’s women’s team
An AFL great will be calling the shots in the Western Region Football League’s women’s competition next season.
Western Bulldogs champion Chris Grant will share the coaching role with Ian Allen at Spotswood in a major coup for the reigning premier.
Grant and Allen have coached junior girls teams at the Wolves the past four seasons, with Isabella Grant coming through the club before she was snapped up by the Bulldogs as a father-daughter selection in last year’s AFLW draft.
The duo coached Spotswood to back-to-back under-18 girls premierships in 2018 and 2019.
President Michele Langlands praised Grant for his dedication to giving back to the club which helped his daughter reach the top level.
She said the former gun forward
Wants to see his program come to fruition and he’s not ready to pass it on to anyone else yet.
“He’s there for all the right reasons. Very unassuming,” Langlands said.
“I said to him, ‘Chris, what is your driver? Izzy won’t even be here.’
“He said he didn’t realise Spotswood was under his nose until Izzy wanted to play football and they had to go and check out clubs.
“He said there was something just so right about everything (at Spotswood).
“He’s so thankful she was at our club through that whole time.”
The decorated Grant played 341 matches for the Bulldogs from 1990-2007, crowned the Charles Sutton medalist as the club’s best-and-fairest twice.
He was a three-time All-Australian, captain and is a member of the Western Bulldogs’ Hall of Fame and AFL Hall of Fame.
While he is the Bulldogs’ director of football, Langlands said Grant was hopeful of attending most matches and training sessions.
Langlands said “about 15” players coached by Grant and Allen in the juniors would graduate to the seniors next season.
She said there had been “some great feedback, a couple of lovely texts” following the appointment.
But while Grant is the headline act, Langlands said Spotswood had assembled a strong support team.
“You just know we’re in good hands, and Chris won’t need to be there for everything,” she said.
“Everything will be in place.”
Several high-profile coaches have also joined the men’s senior ranks since the 2020 season was cancelled, with Michael Barlow (Yarraville-Seddon) and Heath Scotland (Sunshine) linking up with Division 1 clubs.
Steve Kretiuk (Hoppers Crossing), Sam Butler (St Albans) and Brodie Holland (Caroline Springs) have also been reappointed.