Ratten the fourth AFL coach to miss with COVID-19; Laverde re-signs

“It is a privilege to be appointed Port Adelaide’s inaugural AFLW coach and an opportunity I am very much looking forward to,” Arnell, a three-time All-Australian, said.

Lauren Arnell (left) with premiership teammate Breanna Koenen after the 2021 grand final in Adelaide.

Lauren Arnell (left) with premiership teammate Breanna Koenen after the 2021 grand final in Adelaide.Credit:AFL Photos

“The history of success at Port Adelaide and the expectations that come with this are not lost on me. It’s what has drawn me to this club. I want be part of something great, and I can already see we are building something special within our AFLW program.”

The Power will join Hawthorn, Sydney and Essendon as new sides to enter the competition next season – expanding the AFLW to include the full 18 clubs.

Arnell, now 35, has been the head coach of the Brisbane Lions Academy since 2020.

The versatile Jayden Laverde has inked a new deal with Essendon.

The versatile Jayden Laverde has inked a new deal with Essendon.Credit:AFL Photos

Port Adelaide’s head of AFLW Juliet Haslam said Arnell’s appointment was a significant day in the history of the club.

“Today is a special day for our club as we announce the first AFLW coach in Port Adelaide’s remarkable 152-year history,” Haslam said.

“The name Lauren Arnell will forever sit on our club’s honour board as our first ever AFLW coach, a recognition and achievement that cannot be underestimated.

“Lauren will continue the proud legacy of women playing an important role in driving our club forward.”

Elsewhere, Essendon defender Jayden Laverde will remain at the club for at least another three years, having inked a new deal. Laverde has played 73 games since being taken in the 2014 national draft.

“I’m thrilled to remain at the Bombers for a further three years. I love this football club and I’m so grateful for the faith they’ve shown in me over many years,” he said.

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