Collingwood announce former AFL player Craig Kelly as new CEO
Collingwood recently announced their new CEO as former player Craig Kelly, who starts the job on February 20.
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Craig Kelly as our Chief Executive Officer.
— Collingwood FC (@CollingwoodFC) January 30, 2023
Following the departure of Mark Anderson in November, Kelly’s appointment will not come as a shock to most given his long-standing relationship with the club.
The defender, a member of the 1990 Pies premiership team, donned the black and white from 1989 to 1996, making 122 appearances and scoring 43 goals.
Kelly also has his youngest son – Will – on the club’s roster, who has played three games and struggled with injury since being drafted in as a father-son selection in 2018.
The 56-year-old is also father to Essendon defender Jake Kelly, who was previously at Adelaide.
Excited about his new role at the football club, the former Pie has touched on his excitement to lead the Pies into the future.
“The Collingwood Football Club means a lot to a lot of people, including my family, and I feel privileged to be able to lead our club as it continues to progress,” Kelly said.
“I am incredibly honored to have the opportunity to return to the Pies and give back to the Collingwood community.
“The Club has continued to grow and expand over the years and I am excited to steer that growth while supporting and developing the talent of our people, both on and off the field.
“There is momentum at Collingwood, and I look forward to building relationships across the Club and working with the Board, staff, coaches and athletes as we enter the next phase.
“It has been an incredible 26 years growing ESP/TLA with our dedicated staff – both past and present. I would like to thank everyone at TLA, especially the outstanding executive team and our amazing talent – many who are lifelong friends of myself and my family. Without the talent, and the incredible sports and long-term clients we work with, the journey would not have been as fun or fulfilling as it has been.”
President Jeff Browne spoke glowingly of the new CEO and highlighted the next step for the club.
“Craig Kelly is a highly rounded professional and a highly respected person within the football community who has the ideal skills to be the CEO of our great Club,” said Browne.
“Craig understands better than most the requirements of a strong and successful football club. His three decades of extensive experience in managing AFL and key sporting talent, managing a high performance environment and delivering successful results was a key factor in his appointment.
“We look forward to welcoming Craig back to the Pies as CEO during what is a truly exciting time for the Collingwood Football Club and all our members and supporters.”
Kelly – who started out leading the sports agency TLA (formerly known as ESP) – will leave his position as the CEO and a highly respected talent manager to join the club.