If there is a theme to this year’s Movers and Shapers list, it is the new order taking shape at AFL House as Andrew Dillon settles into his first year as chief executive.

The winds of change haven’t just blown through the AFL … there is a freshness to this year’s list as well.

Some longstanding familiar names are gone and some fresh faces have joined us. See you later, Gill. Bye-bye, Buddy. And welcome to you, Nick Daicos.

See 50-41 below:


Nine AFL journalist
Last year:

Served his penance after his 2022 comments about a colleague that led to his sacking from Fox Sports and last year broke the biggest story for years – Damien Hardwick’s sudden departure from Richmond. Nine wants to challenge Seven’s hold on breaking footy news and will pay Morris big bucks to do so.


The Front Bar executive producer
Last year:

The show is a phenomenon, providing a much-needed salve from a game and its media that takes itself far too seriously far too often. The genius is the carefully-considered guest list – not everyone who asks gets on – and the wonderful use of archival footage.


West Coast AFLW coach
Last year: 17

The giant of AFLW has been handed the keys to West Coast after spending just one year on the Geelong men’s coaching staff. Brings one of the sharpest minds in the game, high emotional intelligence and a winning mentality to a powerful club that needs something after a lousy start to women’s footy.


Western Bulldogs player
Last year: 19

Was hoping to put a pair of below-par seasons behind him and returned to training in ripping nick before rupturing his ACL just before Christmas. His absence in 2024 won’t dim the marketability of the AFL player with the most Instagram followers (340,000), but it does significantly cloud his playing future with his contract up at the end of the year and plenty of clubs circling.

46. SWAMP *

Last year: 49

Spits out loads of data each week for the AFL, Seven and the AFL Record, and answers just about every question that comes his way on social media. At the forefront of big plans to make historical data more digestible and easier to access for supporters. *Not his real name.


AFL total player payments auditor & club soft cap manager
Last year:

Clubs cannot do much in the trade and list management space without her approval, in her role as the salary cap czar for the AFL and AFLW competitions. Knows where all the skeletons are buried as well. Winner of the Ray Gunston scholarship at the AFL and on the fast-track to a senior role in the industry.


AFL match review officer
Last year:

Arguably the most scrutinised figure in the game as we anxiously await his findings from the previous day’s games. New footy boss Laura Kane will further tighten some parameters and remove some grey areas, but Christian will continue to hold us in his thrall.


Richmond AFLW player
Last year: 48

Such was her dominance of the AFLW best and fairest count in 2023 that she held an unassailable lead with two rounds to go. Not bad considering it is a 10-round season. Great water cooler conversation to be had as to whether Conti or North’s Jasmine Garner is the best player in the competition.


Carlton coach
Last year:

Stared down a seething fan base and staved off those powerful forces who lurk in the shadows at Ikon Park, with the same resolve he did Scott Burns in the 2002 Grand Final. He stuck to his guns, kept his nerve and guided the Blues back from 15th on the ladder after round 13, to a preliminary final. On the verge of signing a long-term contract extension.


Player agent
Last year:

Paul Connors turned the player management world on its head when he poached Nick Gieschen from Craig Kelly’s TLA in 2020. And Gieschen has helped Connors Sports Management deepen its ties with the ascending talent in the AFL with five of the first seven players drafted last year – Harley Reid, Colby McKercher, Nick Watson, Ryley Sanders and Caleb Windsor – in the stable.

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