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Tuesday, February 18 2020 @ 11:14 am ACDT

International man at the top?


Well almost the top.  The AFL today announced that the man who has been at the operations helm at Hawthorn for the past eight years will replace Adrian Anderson as the AFL's General Manager, Operations.  It had been suggested in various media outlets that the AFL clubs were very keen for the position to be taken up by someone who had been part of the operations of an AFL club rather than someone from outside the league.  Our readers with a slant towards international football development will also be pleased to see that among Mark Evans' responsibilities at Hawthorn was the "Establishment of New South Wales, New Zealand, Ireland and U.S. recruiting pathways."

The full announcement from the AFL follows.

Australian Football League Chief Executive Officer Andrew Demetriou today announced the appointment of Mark Evans as General Manager, Football Operations to replace Adrian Anderson who resigned in December last year.

Mr Evans has been General Manager, Football Operations of the Hawthorn Football Club since 2004 and has also been Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Hawthorn FC for the past 18 months.

Before his appointment by Hawthorn FC, he held the roles of Communications Manager and Player Welfare Manager with the Melbourne Football Club from 1999.

“Mark has a very strong record in football administration and management and will bring valuable senior experience from the roles he has held at two AFL clubs to the AFL,” Mr Demetriou said.

“It is obviously a very important role and we are delighted to welcome Mark to the AFL Executive.”

 He will start with the AFL at a  date to be determined following consultation with Hawthorn FC.

 Mr Evans said he was looking forward to joining the AFL and tackling the many challenges of the Football Operations role.

 “I’m passionate about the game. This is a terrific opportunity for me to apply my experience and learnings from both my time in football and also the further training and education I have undertaken in recent years,” Mr Evans said.

“The AFL is a highly regarded, professional sporting organisation and I look forward to making a positive contribution to the continuing success of the competition and to establishing strong working relationships with each AFL club.”

As General Manager, Football Operations, Mr Evans’ responsibilities will include:

§  Staging of all NAB Cup, Toyota AFL Premiership Season and Toyota AFL Finals Series matches

§  AFL Rules and Regulations

§  NAB AFL National Draft

§  Various AFL policies including the Anti-Doping Code which relates to performance enhancing drugs, the Illicit Drugs Policy which includes out of competition testing for illicit drugs,  Racial and Religious Vilification, Respect and Responsibility.

§  Laws of the Game

§  Match Review Panel, AFL Tribunal

§  Umpiring

§  Working relationship with the AFL Players’ Association

§  Working relationship with the AFL Umpires’ Association

§  Working relationship with AFL Clubs, AFL Coaches Association

Mr Demetriou said the AFL had been very impressed and pleased with the calibre of each of the candidates for the role. They were interviewed by a panel consisting of AFL Chairman, Mike Fitzpatrick, Deputy Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan and Mr Demetriou.

Mark Evans – Background

Mark Evans holds a Bachelor of Education from Ballarat University and in 2012 completed key executive programs in strategy, strategic leadership, negotiation and innovation at the Harvard Business School.

He is also studying for a Master of Business Administration from Southern Cross University in topics including sport and the law, economics and labour market in sport, leadership and culture, marketing, communications and crisis management.

Mark played for Box Hill Football Club from 1992-1995 and in 2010 was awarded Life Membership of the Club to recognise ten years’ service as a player and administrator. He is currently a Director at the Club and is a former Director of Sandringham Football Club.

His responsibilities as General Manager, Football Operations with Hawthorn FC have included:

§  Compliance and management of total player payments

§  Negotiation of player contacts

§  Establishment of what is generally regarded as the strongest AFL/VFL Club alliance with the Box Hill Hawks

§  Development of a high quality player welfare and development program. The club has the highest rate of involvement by players in education and training for life after football

§  Development of a highly respected Indigenous player and culture program across all levels of the club

§  Production of a club Alcohol Game Plan, Choices Program and enhanced Illicit Drug Education and Action Program

§  Recruitment and list management

§  Establishment of New South Wales, New Zealand, Ireland and U.S. recruiting pathways

§  Management of football department costs within annual budgets.

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