The West Australian Football Commission has confirmed a key appointment to support its new Talent Development Model.
AFL National Talent Football Manager Michael Ablett will join the WAFC as WA Talent Pathway Manager.
The role has been added as a key recommendation of the WAFC’s recent Structural Review of Football and will commence in 2018.
WAFC CEO Gavin Taylor said that to secure such a high-quality candidate was a terrific outcome for WA Football.
“Michael has a broad range of experience working in talent development from a community level through to AFL and will add significantly to the WAFC’s vision of connecting and enhancing WA communities through our great game,” he said.
“Michael’s national and international experience working in talent identification and development with the AFL Academy, combined with his background as a player at VFL, Nationals 18s and AFL level, make him the ideal candidate to lead our team of WAFL Talent Managers.
“The chance to secure someone with Michael’s deep experience in the development of talented players is a great outcome for WA Football.
“This will be a challenging and exciting role for Michael as the new talent development model is established across our nine WAFL Clubs and I believe he brings the right mix of skills, experience and understanding of the WA Football market and its stakeholders to ensure it is a success,” Mr Taylor said.
The WAFC's new Talent Development Program aims to set a higher standard for the way the WAFC identifies and supports the development of talented players in WA.
Having secured $1m in additional funding from the AFL, WA will now have one the best resourced talent development programs in Australia.
When combined with the WAFC State Academies and coaches of the likes of Peter Sumich and Tony Micale, the revised model will ensure players are provided with the best opportunities to develop their talent to highest level in a positive, supportive and professional environment.
Head of AFL Talent Tristan Salter said he was pleased that Michael was taking on the role and congratulated him on the significant work he had completed in his time at the AFL.
“WA Football has secured a great resource in Michael and I know this will only strengthen the AFL’s relationship with the WAFC and enhance the development of talent in WA,” he said.
Michael will report directly to the WAFC Executive Manager Talent and Football Operations – a position which is currently being advertised with an appointment expected early in 2018.