Stevie J and Tadhg Kennelly join Sydney Swans coaching ranks

Retired premiership players Steve Johnson and Tadhg Kennelly are joining the Sydney Swans coaching ranks, joining Jeremy Laidler.

The rumour mill has been in overdrive for almost two months with the Swans' capture of Steve Johnson, reported here 6 weeks ago.

Johnson, a triple premiership player, three time All Australian and 2007 Normsmith medalist, will be taking the reigns as the new forwards coach.

Bringing invaluable experience to the Swans, following his illustrious playing career for the Cats and Giants, he's a massive coup for the club following the departure of Henry Playfair.

Sydney Swans Head of Football Tom Harley was chuffed with the capture of his great mate.

“Steve brings an impressive playing record and is widely acknowledged as having elite football IQ,” Harley said.

“Towards the end of his playing days, Steve invested in his coaching career and as such we are very confident that he will transition to become a quality coach.

“Steve and his family are settled in Sydney and we are excited about welcoming them to the Swans.”

Joining Johnson is 2005 Sydney Swans premiership player, the Swans' favourite Irish son, Tadhg Kennelly.

The Irishman returns to the club where he played 197 AFL games, following coaching and development roles with the AFL since 2011.

Kennelly will join retiring Swan Jeremy Laidler as a development coach, while Nick Davis will take up the role of Talent and Development manager for the QBE Sydney Swans Academy.

The 2017 AFL Coaches Association's Assistant Coach of the Year, Rhyce Shaw, has been promoted to an assistant coaching position.

Harley said the club is excited with their new coaching group ahead of season 2018.

“We are looking forward to the start of the pre-season with a new-look coaching group,” Harley said.

“Steve Johnson and Tadhg Kennelly will bring new ideas and a fresh perspective whilst Rhyce Shaw’s promotion from NEAFL coach to the senior coaching panel highlights how highly we regard him.

“We continually look at ways to improve and innovate and our 2018 coaching panel led by John Longmire provides us an opportunity to do so.”

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Justin Mitchell

Justin is a passionate AFL and Sydney Swans supporter, and football blogger since 2016. All articles are of his own opinion. You can reach him by twitter and Facebook at @theswansblog

Melbourne, Australia

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