Chelsea Randall will become the first female coach in Adelaide’s AFL program when she joins the men’s team full-time this year.

Randall, who is the Crows’ women’s captain, will start her new role as an AFL development coach in July on a contract that runs until the end of the 2024 season.

The 30-year-old’s new position will be jointly funded by the Club and the League after Randall was awarded one of six scholarships as part of the League’s Women’s Coaching Acceleration Program.

She is one of the Club’s most decorated players having been a three-time premiership captain, three-time All-Australian including as captain in 2018, and been judged the AFLW’s most courageous player four times.

Randall is currently completing her Level 3 coaching accreditation along with a teaching degree. Prior to joining the Crows for their inaugural AFLW season in 2017, she spent seven years working in game development and elite talent pathways in Western Australia.

In her new position, she will be mentored by Senior Coach Matthew Nicks and work closely with Head of Development Marco Bello, and will be immersed in the men’s program which in her first year will include attending all coaches’ meetings, match committee, game review, training sessions, the coaches’ box and interchange bench on game day.

Randall is also contracted with the AFLW team until at least 2023 and plans to continue playing while embarking on the next phase of her coaching career.

Crows CEO Tim Silvers said the Club was well aware of Randall’s positive impact on the AFLW program and her appointment to the AFL coaching team would allow her to have a direct and meaningful impact on the men’s program as well.

“Chelsea is a quality person, player and leader and the Club has tremendous confidence in her ability to forge genuine relationships through her caring nature, fierce determination and courage to be herself,” Silvers said.

“We are so lucky to have her as captain of our women’s team, she makes us better and we have no doubt she will improve our AFL program, players, coaches and staff, both on and off the field.

“Chelsea is a quality person, player and leader and the Club.

“In addition to that we hope it will inspire other female coaches to continue to pursue coaching as a career and reach the elite level.”

Randall said she was passionate about forging a career path in coaching and her teaching studies, as well as  previous broader game development experience, would prove beneficial.

“From players through to coaches and staff, the men’s program is full of highly talented and motivated people and I am genuinely excited about the opportunity to work with them,” Randall said.

“I want to continue to grow and learn as much as possible in all facets of coaching, while using my experiences to add value in any way I can. There is strong alignment across all areas of the Club and we are building towards sustained success.”

Nicks said he could not have been more impressed by Randall since he arrived at the Club at the end of 2019.

“We talk a lot about prioritising others in our AFL program and Chelsea does that as well as anyone in here,” Nicks said.

“We see her as a great addition to the AFL program, this is not only an opportunity for Chelsea to develop her own coaching style through the program but it’s an opportunity for us to be better through her experiences and unique skill set.

“We are constantly searching for the best people, those who make others better, and Chelsea will do that for us.”