Reported by Tom MORRIS (@tommorris32)
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Craig Jennings will leave Melbourne.Source: Supplied
Melbourne’s football department overhaul will include assistant Craig Jennings, who will depart at the end of the season having decided to pursue other coaching ventures.
Foxfooty.com.au understands Jennings is keen to coach his own team at VFL level and is currently completing his Level 4 coaching accreditation. He has also undertaken a Masters of Coaching to further his skill-set.
The Demons are expected to officially announce Jennings’ exit on Tuesday. He has aspirations to be an AFL senior coach and is believed to have been in discussions with Simon Goodwin for months regarding the next step in his coaching pathway.
Goodwin and Jennings share a close bond having worked at Essendon together.
Jennings was appointed to the Demons in September 2017 as game analyst and education co-ordinator.
Jennings has vast experience across the teaching and coaching landscape, having worked at Swinburne University and presented internationally on education and learning.
He spent 10 years at Essendon before joining the Western Bulldogs as opposition analyst. Jennings is highly rated among senior players such as Jordan Lewis and Neville Jetta, and is believed to be close to former Essendon captain Jobe Watson and AFLW star Daisy Pearce.
The change is just one of many inside Demons HQ.
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It’s understood Darren Burgess’ arrival from the English Premier League is just the tip of the iceberg in the high performance department.
Head physio Sam Pietsch is expected to depart after more than 10 years at the club, while Brendan McCartney — who worked alongside Jennings at Essendon before Melbourne — will also leave.
The AFL Coaches’ Association’s message to assistants around the competition was the same as it was in 2018: If you don’t have a contract for the following season by August 1, then start looking for a new job.
Jennings, who leaves the Demons on good terms and with high aspirations, was out of contract but said to be ready for the next phase of his career.