AFL: Head of Football Program

David Rath has been appointed Head of Football Program at the St Kilda AFL club (link).

The announcement of David’s appointment confirms that in his role, he will oversee St Kilda’s assistant coaches, development coaches and football analysts. He will also have responsibility for game planning, coach education and development, training, player skill acquisition, training analytics, game analysis and information technology, leadership and player development.

David’s current role is Coaching Innovation and Education Manager at the AFL. (link).

News of David’s appointment comes at a time of discussions about technical direction roles in football (link). In this discussion, Martin Buchheit has posted a survey about Performance Jobs (link). He writes:

The number of “performance staff” has grown exponentially over the past years in elite clubs. While there is no doubt that these positions are created to improve long-term club processes, staff communication, and in turn, players and team performances, an important confusion exists with regard to the actual roles of those professionals. There is a feeling that there may be (almost) as many job titles as structures, and there are also large variations in role (job description) within the same job title!

It is interesting to note the synthesis David will be working on at St Kilda. His job description includes coaching, analysis and game planning. I see this combination as fundamental to the transformation of clubs.

The official St Kilda press release about David’s appointment notes he will play a key role in shaping their football program … and “identify areas for improvement across our coaching and football analysis team” (link).


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