From Premiership Captain to Assistant Coach, Emma Zielke will take on a new role at the Brisbane Lions in 2022.
The retired star will step into the AFLW coaching role, one season after she captained the Lions to their inaugural Premiership title.
The appointment sees Zielke become the first woman to sign on as an Assistant Coach at the Brisbane Lions.
AFLW Head Coach Craig Starcevich believes the role is a natural evolution for the Premiership Captain.
“After five years in an elite program, we thought the time was perfect to bring an experienced ex-player into the football coaching group,” Starcevich said.
“Her knowledge of our style, understanding of the strengths of the playing group, and analysis of stats and vision as coaching tools make her a great addition to our coaching staff.
“And most importantly, she wants more success for a group she’s very invested in.”
The appointment isn’t Zielke’s first foray into coaching, with the inaugural Lions Captain already having coached at State and Club level in past years.
Already settling into her new role and coaching sessions during the unofficial training period, Zielke said that she’s excited to continue her journey with the Lions.
“This team means a lot to me,” Zielke said.
“I’ve invested so much time in the team over the past five years. I have a good feel on the group and know the direction they’re heading, so it’s exciting to get to continue to be part of that journey.”
“To be honest, I didn’t think the opportunity to coach would come up so soon, but with Stakes leaving I threw my name in the hat, and after a good conversation with Bree [Brock] and Craig [Starcevich], they thought it was the right fit.”
Hastings Deering has already backed in the new Assistant Coach and the defending Premiers, extending their Official Partnership with the Brisbane Lions until 2024.
It’s a partnership that Hastings Deering General Manager of Marketing & Digital Solutions, Seb Banks said they are proud to continue.
“Hastings Deering is a values-driven organisation and we are excited to align with the AFLW’s Premiership winning team, who we consider part of the Hastings Deering family,” Banks said.
“This next stage of our relationship with the Lions provides us with a great opportunity to continue our support of the Lions Women’s team and reinforces our commitment to developing pathways for females in our respective fields.”
The expanded partnership will see Hastings Deering appear on the top-back of the women’s guernsey in 2022 and significantly increase their investment into the AFLW program.
Head of Women’s Football, Breeanna Brock, said that partners like Hastings Deering are vital to the success of women’s football.
“Our partnership with Hastings Deering is a close and genuine one, and it feels like we have grown and evolved together,” Brock said.
“We’ve been working with them for three years now and it’s obvious to us that with their business model, the actions they take in their own four walls, and this partnership, that they’re serious about supporting women in the workplace and in sport.”