Starce power: Lions coach takes out AFLCA Coach of the Year Award

BRISBANE coach Craig Starcevich has won his second AFLCA AFLW senior coach of the season award.

The inaugural Lions leader previously took out the peer-voted award in the team's premiership year of 2021, and the Lions will face off against Melbourne for their second flag this Sunday.

Brisbane finished top of the ladder in the home-and-away season, dropping just one game and averaging a competition-high 54.5 points across the 10 rounds.

Starcevich won ahead of Geelong coach Dan Lowther, with Richmond's Ryan Ferguson and Melbourne's Mick Stinear tied for third.

Sophie Conway and Craig Starcevich during Brisbane's official team photo day on August 9, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Both the Cats and Tigers made significant jumps up the ladder this season; the Cats returning to finals for the first time since 2019 and the Tigers featuring in their first finals series.

The voting period takes into account the entire season inclusive of the first three weeks of finals, and coaches are asked to consider performance, available resources, player talent and team management.

"I’m humbled to be recognised by my peers as the AFLCA Coach of the Year," Starcevich said.

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"It’s recognition of our entire AFLW program; our entire coaching group, our high-performance team, the medical staff, and most importantly, the players.

"I’m lucky enough to have a fantastic group to coach, and they make turning up to work each week an absolute joy."

Brisbane captain Emma Zielke and coach Craig Starcevich hold the cup aloft after winning the 2021 AFLW Grand Final. Picture: AFL Photos

AFLCA CEO Alastair Nicholson said Starcevich was a worthy winner.

"Craig’s relationship-focus and development approach to coaching has seen him bring the team together for another successful season finishing top of the ladder and headed into the Grand Final this weekend," Nicholson said.

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"Over seven seasons, Craig’s coaching has been of a high and consistent calibre which has resulted in great team connection, a premiership and numerous Grand Final appearances, and to being recognised by his peers twice as the Coach of the Year.

"I applaud Craig on his coaching performances and being recognised as the AFL Coaches Association AFLW Coach of the Year for Season Seven."