Hawthorn premiership player Andy Collins has been appointed as the club’s new head of development to work alongside incoming coach Sam Mitchell.
The former Williamstown VFL coach worked alongside Mitchell at the Box Hill Hawks, returning to the brown and gold after winning three premierships as a feisty back pocket player in the ’80s.
Having trained as a teacher, he was well regarded as a coach with stints at St Kilda, the Hawks, Box Hill, Coburg, West Adelaide and Williamstown.
He became recognised for his ability as an educator of young players and built up a strong relationship with Mitchell.
Hawks footy manager Rob McCartney said the veteran coach will be a great asset to the football program.
“Andy is a welcome addition to Hawthorn’s coaching line-up, coming to the club with broad career experiences in coaching, teaching and high-performance sport,” McCartney said.
“He has a proven ability to nurture and develop emerging football talent and will be a remarkable asset to our younger players as they continue to grow on-and-off field.
“Andy’s expertise and experience will not be limited to our players as we see him playing a key role in supporting coaches and staff across both our men’s and women’s football programs.”
Collins played 212 games with Hawthorn and was a key player in their 1988, ’89 and 1991 premiership teams. He won the club best and fairest in 1990 as he finished fifth in the Brownlow Medal after starting at the club as a mature-aged player. A tough defender, he managed to string together 189 consecutive games in his career.