Hockey great Haslam to head Port in AFLW

Hockey great Juliet Haslam (c), seen here playing in 2000, will set up Port Adelaide's AFLW program.
Hockey great Juliet Haslam (c), seen here playing in 2000, will set up Port Adelaide's AFLW program.

Australian hockey legend and lifelong Port Adelaide fan Juliet Haslam will be the architect of the Power's entry into the AFLW.

The two-time Olympic gold medallist has been appointed as the head of the Port program ahead of them joining the AFLW in 2023.

The 52-year-old is the first appointment to the Power's AFLW operations.

Haslam will play a key role in appointing the club's first AFLW coach and she echoed the Power's desire that it will go to a woman.

"Ideally we would love to see a female head coach, however we will be getting the right person for the role," she said.

Haslam also said she knew she would be fielding a question at Wednesday's media conference about Adelaide great Erin Phillips, who like her has strong family ties to Port.

"With respect to Erin, she's under contract ... she's an amazing athlete, certainly," Haslam said.

She calls the fierce rivalry with the Crows the best in the AFL and happily remembered playing in a 2004 women's Showdown - which the Power won.

"I have had dreams about that (the first AFLW Showdown) already - it would be absolutely incredible," she said.

Apart from Haslam's strong sporting and post-playing career credentials, she bleeds black and white - her father Ross Haslam played more than 100 games for Port in the SANFL.

Her husband is Andrew Obst, who won four flags with Port in the SANFL and also played for Melbourne.

"I've been a passionate supporter all my life, from the early years of crawling around the grandstands at Alberton, watching my Dad play, marrying into the Obst family," Haslam said.

Haslam was named SA's greatest hockey player in 2004.

She played for Australia at the 1992, '96 and 2000 Olympics and was a member of the gold medal-winning teams at the Atlanta and Sydney Games.

Haslam also won gold at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, as well as two World Cup gold medals and the Champions Trophy five times.

After retiring in 2000, Haslam has had a variety of corporate roles and served on the Hockey Australia board.

"Juliet's experience in dealing with elite athletes at international level across a wide variety of sports enables her to bring a unique perspective and understanding to our AFLW program," said Port chief executive Matthew Richardson.

"She also has an excellent understanding of the business of sport which is invaluable as we set out to not only build a successful program on-field but ensure the integration across the various commercial areas of our club is successful."

Haslam will be responsible for Port's AFLW football operations, culture, coaching appointments, list management and high performance.

Port are among four clubs that will join the AFLW for the 2023 season, taking the league to 18 teams.

Australian Associated Press