THE AFL today announced that Carlton Football Club CEO Cain Liddle has been awarded the 2019 Graeme Samuel Scholarship.

Awarded to a senior manager within the football industry who is working in the areas of business or administration, the Graeme Samuel Scholarship provides the recipient with $20,000 to be put towards a study course to further their career development.

Mr Liddle’s experience in AFL Administration spans more than a decade, having worked in the dual role of Chief Customer Officer at Richmond Football Club (overseeing Membership, Corporate, Licensing and Ticketing) and Managing Director of Aligned Leisure, a fully owned subsidiary company of Richmond Football Club that Mr Liddle helped to establish in 2016.

Mr Liddle was named Carlton CEO in November 2017 and in that time the Club has seen major growth under his leadership, growing membership numbers to a club record of 64,269 and boosting the club’s home ground attendance averages to rank third across the competition this year.

Mr Liddle has championed considerable change and development at Carlton including the acquisition of funding and the subsequent redevelopment of Ikon Park, overseeing the expansion of Carlton’s AFLW program, along with leading significant increases in both commercial revenues and the Carlton IN Business corporate networking program.

Mr Liddle’s experience in identifying non-traditional revenue stream opportunities has seen the Club establish the Carlton College of Sport, a partnership with La Trobe University that provides a one-year higher education Diploma in Sports Coaching and Development. This unique tertiary program provides the ultimate learning experience in a high-performance environment with professional athletes, coaches and mentors.

In 2019, Mr Liddle also led the launch of Carlton’s five-year strategic plan that highlights the Club’s vision, values, strategic priorities and key targets for the period 2019 – 2023.

I’m incredibly honoured to be the recipient of the Graeme Samuel award. I’m thankful to the team at Carlton Football Club who have continually supported my personal growth and I’m grateful of the opportunity for further development. I’d also like to sincerely thank the AFL for their encouragement and support” Mr Liddle said.

Mr Liddle has also completed an MBA and in 2017 completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.

The scholarship has been awarded by the AFL Commission since 2003 in recognition of Graeme Samuel’s contribution to the game.

In 1984, Graeme Samuel became an inaugural AFL Commissioner. For over two decades, Mr Samuel played an invaluable role in the strategic direction of the AFL competition and Australian Football in general before resigning in 2003.