CARLTON will become one of the first clubs to conduct a full-scale review of its AFLW football program.
Womens.afl understands the Blues board recently commissioned the wide-ranging review to uncover the reasons behind a disappointing two-win campaign in season seven, and the team's steady decline since qualifying for the Grand Final in 2019.
The review, which is among the first of its kind in an AFLW environment, is likely to put a spotlight on senior coach Daniel Harford just eight months after he signed a two-year extension to remain at Ikon Park.
It also comes barely 18 months after Carlton launched a high-profile external review into its men's football program that resulted in the sacking of then-senior coach David Teague and the eventual departure of his entire assistant coaching group.
The panel conducting Carlton's AFLW review will be made up of both internal and independent members and will be led by both Laura Kane, the AFL's general manager of competition management and a former key off-field member of North Melbourne's foundation AFLW side, as well as Errol Amerasekera, a director at the renowned high-performance and cultural organisation Bluestone Edge.
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The internal panel members will consist of Carlton CEO Brian Cook, football boss Brad Lloyd, the club's general manager of people and culture Donna Price, and its general manager of media, communications and marketing Vanessa Gigliotti.
It's understood the review will centre around three key pillars of Carlton's AFLW football program, including its dwindling performance levels, how best to achieve sustained performance, and ongoing integration with the club's men's program.
Harford guided Carlton to a Grand Final berth just three seasons ago, though the Blues have won only 11 of 29 games since the 2020 season was prematurely cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The team finished with a disappointing 2-6-2 record in season seven, four games outside of finals, having endured a frustrating off-season where the list was pillaged by expansion clubs and rivals.
Former AFLW best and fairest and three-time Carlton club champion Madison Prespakis left for Essendon alongside talented forward Georgia Gee, while senior players such as Nicola Stevens (St Kilda), Charlotte Wilson (Melbourne), Lauren Brazzale (Collingwood), Grace Egan (Richmond) and Courtney Jones (Gold Coast) also departed.
Carlton responded to the exodus by placing an added emphasis on player development within its AFLW program, promoting former 342-game champion Kade Simpson to a more senior role within a beefed-up coaching group. However, he has since left to take up a position as an assistant coach with Hawthorn's men's team.
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The external review into Carlton's men's program, which was commissioned in June 2021, was led by ex-Collingwood football boss Geoff Walsh, former Fremantle champion Matthew Pavlich and ex-Western Bulldogs head of football Graham Lowe.
It resulted in mass change to the side's coaching group and football department structure, which eventually led to the appointment of former Brisbane great Michael Voss as the team's head coach ahead of the 2022 campaign.