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Pies add Bolton and Leppitsch, Hale to Hawks

Craig McRae’s coaching group at Collingwood is beginning to take shape, with two former senior coaches Justin Leppitsch and Brendon Bolton joining the Magpies.

Former Carlton coach Bolton has left Hawthorn to join Collingwood as director of coaching and, according to the club, will also work specifically with the midfield.

Leppitsch has been appointed as the head of strategy and will also coach the backs. He and McRae have a long-standing relationship; they were premiership teammates at Brisbane and both went on to work as assistants at Richmond under Damien Hardwick.

Former Carlton coach Brendon Bolton.

Former Carlton coach Brendon Bolton.Credit:Jason South

The Magpies are also talking to Geelong legend and current assistant Corey Enright, who St Kilda is interested in.

Ben McEvoy (right) and David Hale celebrate the 2015 premiership.

Ben McEvoy (right) and David Hale celebrate the 2015 premiership.Credit:Scott Barbour

Meantime, Hawthorn has welcomed another three-time premiership player back to the club, with David Hale leaving Fremantle for the Hawks, as the assistant coaching merry-go-round speeds up.

Having spent six seasons at Fremantle as an assistant, Hale joins Adrian Hickmott, Andy Collins and the recently re-signed Chris Newman back at Waverly Park under former teammate and friend Sam Mitchell.

A significant change is afoot at Hawthorn’s arch rival Geelong, where experienced assistant and former Essendon coach Matthew Knights is departing.

Knights is moving to West Coast to work under Adam Simpson on a three-year contract. Knights was the Cats’ VFL coach for three seasons before taking over as midfield coach of the senior team in 2015.

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