Power Play: Juliet Haslam to head Port Adelaide’s AFLW program

PORT Adelaide might be some time away from signing its first AFL Women’s players for the 2023 season, but the Power have not wasted anytime in finding the right person to lead their elite women’s program. Yesterday, Port Adelaide announced Juliet Haslam as the club’s inaugural Head of AFLW, well in advance of preparation for their first season at the top level.

Haslam is a two-time Olympic Gold Medallist in field hockey, representing the Hockeyroos at the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Along with that, she is also a two-time World Cup Gold Medallist and Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist, having reached the absolute peak in her chosen sport. However her ties to Australian rules football, and more specifically Port Adelaide, runs deep. Her father, Ross Haslam played 113 games for Port Adelaide Magpies in the SANFL.

Off the field, Haslam has served on the Boards of both Hockey South Australia and Hockey Australia, as well as the South Australian Sports Institute and Board of Governors for the South Australian Hall of Fame. In recent times, she has also worked with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS)’s Gold Medal Ready program which aided Australia’s Olympic athletes prepare for the Tokyo Games.

Port Adelaide chief executive Matthew Richardson said the announcement was a huge milestone for the club, and was thrilled to bring in someone of Haslam’s experience.

“Today is a special day for the Club as it marks our first appointment in our AFLW program, and in the context of building the Port Adelaide Football Club of the future, where men and women will represent the heritage and traditions of Port Adelaide from next season onwards, it is a significant moment,” Richardson said.

“We are thrilled to announce Juliet Haslam as our first Head of AFLW. Great women have always been at the forefront of our Club and Juliet continues this legacy.

“She brings a wealth of knowledge and personal experiences in elite women’s sport, both as a player and administrator.”

Richardson said Haslam’s ability to deal with athletes right up to the elite international level, as well as her business capabilities, made her the perfect candidate for the position.

“Juliet’s experience in dealing with elite athletes at international level across a wide variety of sports enables her to bring a unique perspective and understanding to our AFLW program,” he said. 

“She also has an excellent understanding of the business of sport which is invaluable as we set out to not only build a successful program on-field but ensure the integration across the various commercial areas of our Club is successful.

“Juliet is an outstanding person, with great leadership qualities and values which align with our Club. I could not think of a better person to lead the AFLW program here at Port Adelaide.”

Haslam will oversee the AFL Women’s football operations, culture, coaching appointments, list management and high performance areas of the club. The newest Port Adelaide leader said it was a privilege to be appointed to the role.

“To be the first official appointment within the Club’s AFLW program is an honour and an opportunity I am very much looking forward to,” Haslam said.

“I’ve watched closely the development of the AFLW competition over the last five years, and to now have this opportunity to be involved and help build a successful program at my Club is incredibly exciting.

“I am excited by the Club’s bold vision, including the transformation of the Alberton Oval precinct and the important role that AFLW will play in shaping the Port Adelaide Football Club of the future. 

“Our female athletes will enjoy world class training facilities and Alberton will transform into a national broadcast venue for AFLW. To provide future generations of young girls and women a pathway to represent Port Adelaide on the national stage is inspiring.”

Haslam will officially commence in her role at Alberton in mid-December.

Picture credit: Port Adelaide FC

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