New Crows assistant coach James Rahilly cannot wait to get started at West Lakes after two decades as a player and coach with Geelong. 

The 41-year-old was confirmed as Adelaide’s forwards coach for next season on Monday, less than 48 hours after serving on Chris Scott’s coaching panel in an AFL Grand Final. 

Rahilly is currently establishing the foundations for his family’s impending move to South Australia before returning to Victoria’s Surf Coast later this week, where he will see his partner and four children for the first time since early July.

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Welcome James Rahilly

Former Geelong Assistant James Rahilly has joined the Crows to take on the role as Forwards Coach in 2021.

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Speaking to AFC Media, Rahilly said one of the key priorities for the Crows’ new-looking coaching structure is creating the environment they want at the football club. 

“Nicksy’s really open and I’m looking forward to learning from a new group (Scott Burns and Nathan Van Berlo), that was one of the reasons I was keen to come over,” Rahilly said.

“To learn off new people and be part of creating a new environment here, obviously they’re very well regarded in their roles. I’m looking forward to getting started.” 

Rahilly will be embracing a collaborative approach in his new role, determined to not only learn from his fellow coaches but also each member of Adelaide’s playing list. 

“I’m pretty strong on how I think the game should be played but I’m really big on the players bringing the best out of themselves,” Rahilly said. 

“I’ll be looking at what type of players they are and just trying to bring the best out of them. 

Everyone’s different, that’s probably what I love about the game. The complexities of working out and improving individuals, but the simplicity of bringing that into the team so we’re all on the same page.

- James Rahilly

Rahilly said he has watched a few Crows games recently and has identified some “very exciting” talent in the forwards group led by experienced pair Taylor Walker and Tom Lynch.

“There’s a few players I can see a lot of improvement and a pretty high ceiling, so I’m very excited to work with a lot of them,” Rahilly said. 

“It’s great to have a couple of experienced heads down there as well which I’ll be leaning on for support.”