Geelong’s Brett Johnson will undertake a new role as head of AFLW, football pathways and player development.

The promotion will see Johnson with overall responsibility for the club’s AFLW, men’s and women’s second tier programs and the club’s player development department. He had previously been the Cats performance and development manager. 

Johnson has extensive experience in leadership roles within football. Prior to joining the Cats in July 2018, he spent eight years at the AFLPA, six of those years as general manager of player development.

“Brett is highly respected at our club and in the football industry, and he has great experience across a myriad of areas in football,” Geelong’s general manager of football Simon Lloyd said. 

“This is a major role in our club. The AFLW team has shown improvement over its two years and we will now look to grow it even further as we seek more on-field success. 

“We have always seen our pathway program as critical to success at AFL and AFLW level, and Brett along with other key stakeholders are working through the best models in a post-COVID world. He has previously overseen our player development program and will continue to do so.

“Brett is an excellent strategic thinker and this is important as we navigate our way forward. His knowledge and experience will be central to our planning and implementation across each of these areas.”

Johnson played 70 AFL games with Hawthorn and Carlton. He went onto play six seasons with Williamstown in the VFL, the last five as club captain. 

Johnson enjoyed great success at VFL level, earning life membership, a premiership medal, multiple best & fairest awards and captaincy of the state team. Johnson then went on as playing coach at Montrose in the Eastern Football League for five years, winning a premiership in 2013.