Adelaide has finalised its coaching structure with long-time Cats mentor James Rahilly joining the Club as an assistant.

The highly regarded Rahilly, who will oversee the forward line at West Lakes, has been a key part of Geelong’s development program for more than a decade.

He played 90 AFL games for the Cats between 1998 and 2005, returning in 2008 as a VFL coach before joining Chris Scott’s senior coaching staff in 2011.

Crows Head of Football Adam Kelly said Rahilly had a proven track record of fast-tracking the improvement of young players during stints as Geelong’s academy manager and head of development.

“James is a great fit for the current evolution of our playing group,” Kelly said.

“Importantly, his skills and experience complement the rest of our coaching panel and he also brings a wealth of knowledge from working in Geelong’s program.”

Rahilly will be joined by fellow assistants Scott Burns and Nathan van Berlo, who will look after the defence and midfield respectively, while Matthew Clarke will continue to mentor the rucks and lead the AFLW team.

Heath Younie remains head of development and will be supported by Brent Reilly and Matthew Wright, with the latter also working in the Crows Academies.

Adelaide’s SANFL team will be led by Mick Godden who will also have a strong development focus.

The coaching panel will be supported by a new football and data strategist with Chris Sheedy joining the Crows from Port Adelaide. 

Kelly said the Club was confident it had secured the right mix of talent and experience to bring the best out of both its emerging and senior players. 

“We are determined to give our players every opportunity to fulfil their potential and in the process deliver the type of on-field success that our Members and fans crave,” Kelly said.

“Our off-season focus was to strengthen our football department with coaches who have been in successful or premiership winning football programs and we feel that has been achieved.”

Adelaide’s pre-season training officially starts in early December.