Blues appoint interim footy boss as post-review reshape continues

CARLTON has appointed Ash Naulty as its interim head of women's football, as the club undertakes a massive reshaping of its AFLW program.

The Blues sacked coach Daniel Harford with a year remaining on his contract, and did not reappoint out-of-contract head of women's footy Brett Munro after an external review.

Naulty has held a few different positions over his time at the club, including Carlton College of Sport football development and pathways coordinator; and is currently player welfare and second-tier (i.e. VFL) coordinator.

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He will hold the role until a permanent appointment is made.

The Trade and Sign Period and AFLW Draft are on the horizon, both of which appear to be tricky. Only mature-age talent is on offer in the draft, after the majority of elite 18-year-old talent was scooped up in last year's bonus draft before the one-off second season of the year.

Clubs appear to be reluctant to trade players for draft picks as a consequence.

Carlton players look dejected after their clash against Melbourne in round five, S7, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Carlton finished 14th of 18 sides last season – the lowest of the inaugural eight teams – winning two of 10 matches (and drawing two).

A wide-ranging review into the club's women's program was held over December and January, with findings including:

  • "Whilst staff were found to be of strong character, of integrity and passionate about football, there is a requirement for stronger leadership across key positions within the program, with a key requirement of this being for the senior coach position to be full-time.
  • "At times confusion with the gameplan and lack of alignment and consistency with its implementation.
  • "Opportunity exists in the current AFLW environment for players to improve professional standards and elite behaviours, to build and maintain an effective, high-performance culture.
  • "A strong need to foster an environment that supports the ability to provide and receive constructive feedback with a developmental focus.
  • "A clear vision for the AFLW program is required, containing a definitive direction and goal for the program across the immediate, short and long term."

Carlton established its general manager of women's football role following the 2018 season, appointing Nicole Graves, who held the position for 12 months. Munro was appointed following her resignation.