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In the buildup to the AFLW Grand Final, Brisbane Lions coach Craig Starcevich was named AFLW coach of the year by the AFL Coaches Association (AFLCA). The voting is done by fellow coaches. Opposing Grand Final coach Matthew Clarke came in second, followed by Melbourne Coach Mick Stinear. Starcevich, who has coached the Lions since 2018, has led his team into three Grand Finals in the past five seasons with Brisbane taking out the premiership in 2021. He was rated as the best-performed coach throughout the season and the Association considered the team's performance, available resources, player talent, and team management.

In accepting the award Starcevich paid tribute to the team, "I’m absolutely chuffed and humbled ... It’s completely related to the quality of our coaching group overall, medical and fitness teams, all of our staff, and most importantly our players. It’s a direct reflection of what they’ve churned out this year."

AFLCA CEO Alistair Nicholson praised Starcevich,

“Craig’s coaching performances this season have not only resulted in a Grand Final appearance ... but also in being recognized by his fellow AFLW Coaches ... On behalf of the AFLCA and all members, I congratulate Craig on a wonderful season and winning this Award.”

Starcevich played 144 games for Collingwood and Brisbane from 1987 to 1999, was a member of Collingwood's 1990 premiership team and later served as a runner for Brisbane. His son Brandon currently plays for the Brisbane Lions.

Sources: Nadine Rabah​, AFL Media Release, Encyclopedia of League Footballers, AFL Record Season Guide

Article last changed on Sunday, April 18, 2021 - 12:14 PM EDT


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