Coaching restructuring

Essendon Football Club has made a number of changes to its Coaching structure in preparation for the 2018 season.

Following an end of season review, the Club has restructured the midfield coaching role, and as a result Guy McKenna will not be continuing.

McKenna joined the Club at the end of 2015 and was the midfield coach for the 2016 and 2017 season.

With a long history in AFL both as a player and as a coach, McKenna has decided to move on from football, accepting a position at Cricket Victoria as Coaching and Talent ID Specialist.

General Manager of Football, Rob Kerr, thanked McKenna for his contribution to the Club.

“The duties of the Midfield Coach have been restructured in order to align more effectively with the distinction between the roles of our Strategy Coaches and our Performance Coaches,” Kerr said.

“I would like to thank Guy for his service to the Club, as well as bringing his football knowledge and strong work ethic to the table, he has added to the spirit and morale of the Club with his enthusiastic and positive nature.

“On behalf of the entire Club, I would like to wish Guy and his family every success for the future, and he leaves with the knowledge he will always be welcome at the Essendon Football Club.”

As part of the restructure, former Essendon and Geelong player, James Kelly, has taken up a position within the Bombers Coaching Department.

The triple premiership player will remain at the Club next season after accepting the role of Performance Coach with a focus on the development players.

“James has a rich knowledge of the game, having an AFL career that spanned over 15 years and multiple premierships,” Kerr said.

“In his two years at Essendon he has worked closely with the younger players, he’s played a crucial role in helping develop their game and mentor them on what it takes to extract the most out of their careers.

“He is a strong leader on and off the field, and is a great addition to the coaching staff.”

In further changes, Hayden Skipworth will transition from coaching the forward line to the midfield group, whilst taking on greater responsibilities.

Paul Corrigan moves from coaching the Club’s VFL side to the forward line.

Performance Coach, Dan Jordan, has been named as the 2018 VFL Head Coach.

2018 Coaching Staff

John Worsfold – Senior Coach
Mark Neeld – Game Performance Coach
Rob Harding – Game Intelligence & Opposition Strategy Coach
Paul Corrigan – Performance Coach, Forwards
Hayden Skipworth – Performance Coach, Midfield
Mark Harvey – Performance Coach, Backs
Dan Jordan – VFL Head Coach
Mark Corrigan – Performance Coach
James Kelly – Performance Coach



This bit is like an early Christmas present. You farking beauty Kel.


This will turn out to be one of our best signings this year


Very happy with the Kelly appointment, surprised that’s the only new face however.


Very good news!

Interested to see how Skipworth goes with the midfield. Our forward line was our best performed line this year so wonder as to whether it was because of having good players or good coaching. Pressure is on Skippy!

1 Like

So good that Kelly is part of the coaching team. Is anyone else confused by the Skipworth appointment as midfield coach?


From that coaching structure, I take it that our Performance at player Performance isn’t the Performance that we want our Performance to be Performing at.




1 Like

Happy with Kelly but tbh I really don’t think the changes have gone far enough.

Mark neeld imho is the not the right man.


Its not like Guy McKenna moving on was news, so the change to the midfield coach is the big surprise.

If Skippy can fix the midfield in one preseason, like he fixed the forward line, I will be uber rapt.


What are Neeld’s responsibilities?

Hayden Skipworth must be one of the best blokes you’ll ever meet. Joining Essendon would be one of the best decisions he ever made.

To be fair, he did a very promising job with the forwardline this season. it’s a massive step taking on the midfield role.


I think he’s suggested we make Mcgrath captain.


It’s pretty obvious. Mark Corrigan is our Performance Coach, and because his role hasn’t been clarified in detail I’m going to assume he’s the coach that looks after the Performance Coaches. A Performance Coach of Performance Coaches. All sorted :joy:


Obviously they want skipworth gone at the end of 2018.


Honestly think Neeld should have gone too


A few years ago we had all of these great coaches that left for promotions and took IP about recruiting, poached players and advanced their careers. At least we don’t have to worry about that with this group.

1 Like