By Nick Creely
The Casey Demons are on the hunt for a new senior coach in 2021 in the new and expanded VFL competition, with the club confirming that Sam Radford has stepped down from the role.
Radford, who took on the role as senior coach midway through 2019 and guided the Demons to six wins from nine game after taking over from Jade Rawlings as caretaker, will return to full-time teaching next year, but he will remain part of Melbourne’s AFL program in what will be his fifth season at the club.
The highly-respected coach first joined the club at the end of 2016, where he served as an assistant coach at both VFL and in the Melbourne AFLW side and made a strong impact immediately.
General manager of football operations Josh Mahoney told Melbourne Media that it was a shame that the club has lost Radford from its VFL program moving forwrard, but said that he would not be lost to football and Melbourne after accepting a new role within the football department.
“An unfortunate consequence of the reduced football soft cap has meant that the role of Casey Demons senior coach will be made a part-time role,” he said.
“Sam joined the club full-time this season as an AFL development coach, which included coaching Casey. The cancellation of the season saw Sam move back into teaching and perform a part-time role at the club.
“After many discussions, Sam has decided to return to full-time teaching and accept a role at Melbourne in opposition strategy/education.
“We will begin to seek candidates for the Casey Demons Senior coach role ASAP and look forward to participating in the revised second-tier competition for 2021. We are excited at the prospect of what this new league will offer talented footballers across the east coast of Australia.”