Greater Western Sydney’s Adam Kingsley named AFL coach of the year

AFL coach of the year Adam Kingsley has overseen a tremendous turnaround at Greater Western Sydney.

AFL coach of the year Adam Kingsley has overseen a tremendous turnaround at Greater Western Sydney. Photo: AAP

Greater Western Sydney’s Adam Kingsley has capped an extraordinary debut season in charge of the Giants by being named the AFL’s coach of the year.

After taking on the job vacated by long-time coach Leon Cameron, Kingsley endured a tough start to his career at the Giants before almost qualifying for a grand final in his first season.

GWS fell just one point short of Collingwood in last Friday night’s preliminary final after winning sudden-death matches away against St Kilda and Port Adelaide.

Kingsley, who had a 15-year apprenticeship at Port Adelaide, St Kilda and Richmond, won the AFL Coaches Association’s (AFLCA) highest honour, beating out grand final rivals Craig McRae (Collingwood) and Chris Fagan (Brisbane Lions).

The 48-year-old was awarded 263 votes from his peers, ahead of last year’s winner McRae (197) and Fagan (164).

“It’s a tremendous honour to receive this award, particularly given it’s an award voted on by the other coaches,” Kingsley said.

“I’m grateful for the support I’ve received this season from the club and our players but also a whole new coaching group, and I’m exceptionally proud of the way we’ve come together to build a whole new program.

“While still disappointed by the result on Friday night, in time I think we’ll look back on this season with a great amount of pride, particularly in the growth of our group.”

GWS started the Kingsley era in shaky fashion, slumping to 15th on the ladder with a 3-7 record after 10 rounds.

But the Giants stormed home to secure seventh spot before winning at the MCG and the Adelaide Oval in the finals.

GWS won at 11 different venues throughout the season – a VFL/AFL record.

“We all saw last Friday night the improvement the Giants have made in such a short amount of time and Adam deserves a ton of credit for the way he has applied himself and organised his team to again be one of the most dangerous up and coming sides in the AFL competition,” AFLCA boss Alistair Nicholson said.


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