The Western Bulldogs have finalised their AFLW coaching panel for the 2021 season, appointing Marcus Abney-Hastings as an assistant coach.
Abney-Hastings will already be well-acquainted with a number of Bulldogs players, having coached the Northern Knights in the NAB League Girls competition since 2018.
The Bulldogs drafted Gabby Newton, Nell Morris-Dalton and Britney Gutknecht from the Knights in 2019, plus number two pick Jess Fitzgerald in the 2020 NAB AFLW Draft.
Abney-Hastings also worked as an assistant coach under AFLW head coach Nathan Burke with Victoria Metro at the 2019 NAB AFLW Under-18 National Championships, and has previously held coaching roles in the VFL and NAB League Boys competitions.
He is in the process of completing his Level 3 AFL Coaching accreditation and was set to coach North Melbourne’s VFLW team in 2021, before deciding to join the Kennel.
“We are delighted to have Marcus join our AFLW program. With the combination of his teaching background, football experience and passion for women’s footy, he will certainly add value to our program,” General Manager of Women’s Football, Debbie Lee, said.
“We have had a number of players that have been through the NAB League pathway– and given Marcus’ involvement with both the Northern Knights and Victoria Metro programs, he has already been a part of the journey for many of our players.
“He obviously brings some great insight about our younger players, but with his coaching experience we believe he will be a great fit for our program and entire playing group.”
Outside of football, Abney-Hastings has a background in teaching and is a school principal in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.
He joins Jack Fitzpatrick and Natalie Wood as line coaches, with Andrew Shakespeare returning as skill acquisition coach.