Geelong star Patrick Dangerfield is the new President of the AFL Players’ Association after Matthew Pavlich decided to step down from the role, and the board, after three years.
Board member Sam Docherty has been elevated to the position of vice-president, past player Luke McPharlin was elected to replace the retiring Leigh Montagna, while Rory Sloane and Phil Davis were re-elected to the board un-opposed. Past player Chris Heffernan was confirmed as one of two appointed directors, alongside Andrew Twaits, who will continue as the chair of the board.
These board changes were confirmed at the 2018 AFLPA Annual General Meeting on Monday night, which took place ahead of the association’s season launch event in Melbourne.
Dangerfield, who has been on the AFLPA board for four years and in the role of vice-president for the past year, is excited to put his own stamp on the presidency.
“It’s an honour to be appointed as president and take the baton from Pav and all the incredible work he’s done in leading the players through the extensive and successful Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations over the past few years,” Dangerfield said.
“This CBA has achieved some really strong results for players and I’m looking forward to working closely with the board and our player delegates to implement these outcomes and continue to provide strong advocacy for all players.”
AFL Players’ Association CEO Paul Marsh paid tribute to Pavlich and Montagna, who served for 10 and eight years respectively across the roles of delegate, board member and in the former’s case, president.
Pavlich’s legacy includes a landmark CBA that saw players receive a share of industry revenue for the first time, increased funding to player development, injury and hardship and a change in constitution to welcome AFLW players into the association.
“Both Matthew and Leigh have been brilliant advocates and leaders for all AFL players during their time as AFLPA delegates and board members – we thank them immensely for their commitment to the association and wish them well in their future endeavours,” he said.
“In looking forward, we have now made some strong appointments to replace Matthew and Leigh and, as a result, have a dedicated and enthusiastic board established who are focussed on achieving what is fair for all players.
“With the CBA locked away and the game evolving at such a rapid rate, it’s an important time for the AFLPA and we are focussed on improving the structures around the issues players see as most important, such as career transition and mental health.”
Patrick Dangerfield (president), Sam Docherty (vice-president), Rory Sloane, Scott Pendlebury, Daisy Pearce, Easton Wood, Phil Davis, Luke McPharlin, Chris Heffernan, Paul Marsh (CEO) and Andrew Twaits (independent chair) complete the 2018 AFL Players’ Association Board.