Richmond is delighted to announce the appointment of Emma Grant as the club’s new AFLW development coach.
Grant has transitioned into coaching after retiring from AFLW in 2020, following four years at Collingwood.
The 32-year-old spent this season as an assistant with the Bendigo Pioneers (NAB League Boys and Girls) and Victoria Country U/19s (Girls). She was the recipient of the 2020 AFL Coaches Association Coaching Pathway Scholarship.
Grant, a schoolteacher, has also previously held Head Coach and Specialist Coach roles in various settings, including regional interleague, representative underage and as a teacher and coach at Alex Rance’s ‘The Academy.’
Grant said she was excited to join Richmond.
“Obviously, the Club is still pretty new in the AFLW, and I have just heard such amazing things about the culture and the buy-in from the players and the staff,” she added.
“With such a young list and the brand of footy that the Tigers played last year, it is super exciting to be on board.”
Grant, who is a former teammate of current Tigers Christina Bernardi, Maddie Shevlin, Iilish Ross, Sarah D’Arcy and Sarah Dargan, said she hoped to impart some of her experiences from playing at AFLW level with the Richmond players.
“I want to be there as a friendly face that can answer questions, drawing off some of the experiences I have had as a player in the AFLW system and now as a coach as well,” she said.
“As a development coach, hopefully, I can be a mentor for those first and second-year players and help drive some elite standards.
“The mentality for me is to coach players for the future, rather than just the present. It is about helping them grow as a person first and as a player.”
Grant will already be a familiar face for young Tigers Ingrid Houtsma (Victoria Country U/19s), Emelia Yassir (Vic Metro U/16s), Stella Reid (Vic Metro), and Kodi Jacques (Bendigo Pioneers), who she has coached in previous roles.
Grant’s appointment completes Richmond’s 2022 AFLW coaching panel, with last year’s coaches all retained to work alongside senior coach Ryan Ferguson.
Grant herself will be closely mentored by Ferguson and other key members of the Richmond Football Club football department to also further progress herself as a coach.
“I still have so much to learn, and I am really looking forward to continuing to grow as a coach,” Grant said.
“I think the AFLW landscape is exciting because it is still so new. You do not know where you can go, and you cannot really put a ceiling on anything.”
Ferguson has also been a mentor for AFLW assistant coach (backline) Lauren Tesoriero. Tesoriero has been involved with the Tigers VFL Men's program this year, where Ferguson also coaches.
Richmond Head of Women’s Football, Kate Sheahan, said that Grant’s signature was a huge coup for the Club.
“Emma is an outstanding up and coming coach, with a promising future in football,” she added.
“Our players will benefit greatly from working with Emma, and we are really delighted also to be able to give her the chance to continue her development as an elite level coach.
“In Lauren and Emma, we feel we have two highly impressive female coaches that will benefit greatly from the opportunity to continue working in an AFLW environment.
“We are thrilled to be able to invest in them as coaches and to play a part in helping them to develop their coaching skillsets and credentials.
"Our philosophy is that this will give them the best chance to be fully prepared for future senior opportunities and long-term success in the coaching industry.
"We cannot wait to see what they can achieve together with our playing group in 2022."