CARLTON Football Club is thrilled to announce the appointment of Nicole Graves as its General Manager of Women’s Football.

Finalising the changes across Carlton’s women’s football program more broadly, the newly established role will see Graves work closely alongside AFL Head of Football Andrew McKay and oversee both the AFLW and VFLW programs.

In a career spanning nearly two decades, Graves arrives at the Blues with an extensive background in women’s football, both as a player, coach and administrator.

Returning to Victoria from Western Australia, her list of achievements includes coaching back-to-back premierships at Swan Districts, leading the women’s AFL International Rules team and being a long-standing Board member of the Victorian Women’s Football League.

Taking charge of the education and community programs at Swan Districts Football Club, Graves has been the General Manager of the V Swans for the past 10 years, focusing on developing regional and Indigenous talent. Under her leadership, this initiative has grown to become one the most successful football programs in Western Australia.

CEO Cain Liddle said Graves will be an asset to the Club as he welcomed her to the Blues.

“We have uncovered a true gem in Nicole and I’m delighted she has accepted the position of General Manager of Women’s Football,” Liddle said.

“After undertaking a thorough process, it was clear her knowledge of women’s football, coupled with her extensive network and administration experience, made her a perfect fit for the role.

“When you talk to Nicole you can see she has such a genuine passion for the game, especially when it comes to developing female talent, so her enthusiasm and drive will greatly benefit the Club and the women’s football program.

“With the appointment of Daniel Harford as our senior AFLW coach and Shannon McFerran as our inaugural VFLW coach, Graves now completes the new-look structure of our women’s football department.”

A Carlton supporter growing up, Graves said she couldn’t wait to commence in her new role.

“I’m extremely excited to take up this opportunity at Carlton and work alongside Andrew McKay, Daniel Harford and Shannon McFerran,” Graves said.

“My background as a player, coach and administrator has given me a strong understanding of the inner workings of a football club and I know this experience will help me as I look to strengthen the women’s program at the Blues.

“Diversifying our list and identifying talent from across the country will be a focus as we create opportunities for young athletes to engage with Carlton – this is something I’m really passionate about.

“Club environments are vitally important, so part of my role will also be making sure we provide our players, coaches and staff with a positive setting in order to achieve success and nurture the talent on our lists.

“This means creating a strong connection and crossover between our VFLW and AFLW programs will be important, as we continue to ensure Ikon Park remains the home of women’s football.

“I can’t wait to get started and look forward to ensuring we provide our VFLW and AFLW players with elite football progams, so they have the best platform to achieve sustained success.”

Graves will commence in the role on Monday 9 July.