Premiership player Lauren Arnell announced as inaugural AFLW coach of Port Adelaide Power

Lauren Arnell has been announced as the inaugural AFLW coach of Port Adelaide, in a coup for the second South Australian side to join the league.

A member of the 2021 Brisbane Lions premiership team and three-time All Australian, she is the first retired player to be announced as a senior AFLW coach.

She also captained Carlton in the first season of AFLW in 2017, going on to play a total of 36 games.

In securing the head coaching role at Port Adelaide, she becomes the third woman to coach an AFLW side, joining premiership coach Bec Goddard (Hawthorn) and Natalie Wood (Essendon).

In season six, every AFLW club was coached by a man, but three of the four expansion teams have named women in the role.


Arnell has spent the last 18 months working as head coach of the Brisbane Lions Academy, while she was a teacher for over a decade as well as a commentator for ABC Sport.

She also designed and delivered the AFL’s She Can Coach scholarship program in Victoria, to invest in the development of women coaches.

“To be the first AFLW coach in a club that is more than 150 years old is truly humble and I can’t wait for our team to write their own chapter in Port Adelaide’s rich history of success,” Arnell said.

“I want to be part of something great and I can already see we are building something special within our AFLW program.”

Fans will have their first chance to support a Port Adelaide women’s side in the club’s 152-year history.(AFL Photos via Getty Images: Sarah Reed)

Arnell added that she was excited by the club’s “progressive” and “bold” vision for its women’s football program, including the transformation of the Alberton Oval precinct.

“Our female athletes will enjoy world-class training facilities and will provide future generations of young girls and women a pathway to represent Port Adelaide on the national stage.”

Port Adelaide’s head of AFLW Juliet Haslam said Arnell had been the standout candidate for the role.

“Lauren was incredibly impressive throughout the interview process,” said Haslam.

“Her presentation skills are first class and her passion for football and eagerness to develop others was clearly evident.


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