The Carlton Football Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Tom Stafford as its new VFLW Senior Coach.

Stafford has been promoted to the role after two seasons with the side as an assistant coach (midfield) under predecessor Luke O’Shannessy.

Prior to joining the Blues, Stafford’s extensive experience coaching women’s football began as Senior Head Coach of Marcellin Old Collegians in the VAFA Women’s Premier Division.

After two seasons, which included two Grand Final appearances, a Premiership and VAFA Coach of the Year, Stafford took charge of the VAFA Big V representative team in 2019.

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Stafford on return to Carlton, team culture

Newly appointed Senior VFLW Coach Tom Stafford spoke to Carlton Media about his new, but familiar role.

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He has also been the Head Coach of Whitefriars First XVIII for the past three years.

Stafford said he is delighted to take the reins of the Blues’ VFLW program  next season.

“I am excited to be back with the team this year in the role of Senior Coach and hope to continue the outstanding work of Luke O’Shannessy from last season,” Stafford said.

“The VFLW is such an important competition, we want to build a successful program on and off the field, as well as nurturing development of our players.

“We want to provide them with an opportunity to continuously improve and push for senior selection during the season so pre-season in January cannot come soon enough.”

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Carlton General Manager of Women’s Football Brett Munro said there is certainly a huge benefit that Stafford was part of the coaching team in 2021.

“We are thrilled with the appointment of Tom as our Senior Coach for VFLW and look forward to seeing him continuing to build on the great work from last season,” Munro said.

“He understands the Carlton values and brings with him a wealth of experience, including many years in women’s football, that can be passed onto our players. We look forward to working with Tom to provide an elite environment for the team ahead of the 2022 season.

“We would also like to thank Luke for his work and dedication as our Senior Coach last season and wish him the best with his move back to regional Victoria.”