AFLW next big thing
FORMER Hawthorn midfielder Daniel Harford says he does not harbour any ambitions to coach men’s football at the top level as he takes the reins of Carlton’s women’s team.
Instead, the former Hawthorn star predicts AFLW will become “a beast” within five years. Harford said he had fallen in love with the women’s game and wanted to be “part of the movement”.
He said he loved every second as an assistant with Magpies AFLW last season after coaching senior men’s football for a decade with VAFA side St Kevin’s and Eastern Football League outfit Balwyn.
“The AFL system’s all-consuming and I quite like my life- style at the moment,” Harford said.
“I get to see my family, I get to talk a bit of rubbish on (RSN) radio every day and I get to coach and scratch that itch as well.
“It’s a great mix of my loves and passions and at this stage I don’t think I’ll be doing anything else.
“What I love about the girls is they just want to learn. They’re sponges and everything you say they’ll listen to.
“There’s not a lot of egos here and they just want to get better and that’s the attraction of the whole competition.”
Harford, 41, who played 162 AFL games for Hawthorn and Carlton, said his coaching motto was “do the easy thing often and well”.
He vowed to lift Carlton’s scoring next season after the side averaged just three goals a game during a two-win 2018 campaign.
Former Blue Brad Fisher and ex-Port Adelaide star Steven Salopek have joined Harford as assistants along with Shannon McFerran, who coached Collingwood’s VFLW side this year.
The return of captain Bri Davey from an ACL injury is set to boost the Blues in 2019, but Harford said he expected the whole competition to take a giant leap forward.
“I would suggest within five years the whole product, the level of play, the expectation from fans but also from players … it’s going to go through the roof,” Harford said.
Carlton begins pre-season training on Wednesday, with its first game against North Melbourne on February 3.