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Axe falls on Richmond’s inaugural AFLW coach

RICHMOND has cut ties with its AFL Women’s coach after a winless inaugural season in the competition. Tom Hunter, who has been at the club since 2016 as part of the club’s VFL and VFLW programs before earning the top job of the women’s outfit, oversaw the build of the club’s list and the team’s…

RICHMOND has cut ties with its AFL Women’s coach after a winless inaugural season in the competition.

Tom Hunter, who has been at the club since 2016 as part of the club’s VFL and VFLW programs before earning the top job of the women’s outfit, oversaw the build of the club’s list and the team’s first season in the competition which ultimately ended without victory.

The club has tonight announced that it had decided not to renew his contract.

“I thank the Richmond Football Club for the past three years in the Women’s program, and my previous time working in the VFL,” Hunter said.

“I am grateful for the experience, and I know it will hold me in good stead to continue my coaching career.

“I have plans to return to teaching in the interim, with the goal of remaining in football in some capacity in the future.”

The club has insisted that the club’s dismal campaign was not the reason for Hunter’s departure.

Tigers head of women’s football Kate Sheahan said that Hunter had been an “important part” of the “significant undertaking” of developing the club’s women’s program.

“Tom is incredibly professional, hardworking, and a wonderful person to have been part of our football club,” Sheahan said.

“We thank him for all he has done as the senior coach of our AFLW program, and wish him all the best for the future when his current contract with the club finishes.”

It was a season of turbulence for the Tigers, with skipper Katie Brennan sidelined for the majority of the season due to injury and senior assistant coach Jacob Thompson leaving the club midway through the season.

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LAMBERT CLAIMS TOP PIE HONOURS

COLLINGWOOD midfielder Jaimee Lambert has become the first Magpies AFLW player to win back-to-back best and fairests.

And former Australian netballer Sharni Layton capped her All-Australian season with a top-five finish.

The Pies held their virtual best and fairest awards ceremony on Friday night with “elite” Lambert saluting ahead of Britt Bonnici and recruit and former Blues skipper Bri Davey.

“She is driven, dedicated and talented,” Collingwood AFLW coach Steve Symonds said of Lambert.

“Jaimee is quiet by nature but her game is anything but.

“It was a pleasure to coach and, at times, simply watch her play this year. She sets a competitive standard and plays with both relentless aggression and polish that is the way forward for the women’s game.”

Layton, who starred in the ruck after an off-season where she “worked my arse off” in an effort to elevate her game, was rewarded with the Players’ Player award by her peers.

“Sharni made tremendous progress on the field this year, which is a credit to her and reward for the work she has put in over two years to make the transition from elite netballer to elite footballer,” Symonds said.

“Sharni has always been a tremendous cultural asset and it is particularly pleasing for her to be recognised not only for her game but for who she is.”

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