GWS replace Campbell, industry moves could follow

The move would essentially see him groomed to go up against Richmond boss Brendon Gale for the role of AFL CEO when Gillon McLachlan moves on, which is likely to be before the end of 2021.

“I’ve been in this caper long enough to just stay in the moment. But if that opportunity arose in the future and I felt passionate about it, I’d consider it,” Gale told SEN radio when asked about the position.

Gale is seen as the overwhelming frontrunner to replace McLachlan, but Xavier Campbell’s move to the AFL would give him a better chance of being considered, whether that’s now or indeed replacing the next league chief.

If and when the role of Essendon chief executive becomes available, one name that will be at the front of the queue is that of St Kilda’s footy boss, Simon Lethlean.

Lethlean, who worked closely with McLachlan during his time at the AFL, was appointed as Carlton CEO by president Mark LoGiudice at the end of 2017, before the decision was overturned by the board in an embarrassing turn of events for the club.

He may not be able to fulfil his aspirations of becoming a club chief with the Saints in the near future, with the board content with current boss Matt Finnis.


While several moves would have to go through between now and the end of the year, it’s conceivable that the position of general manager of football becomes available at St Kilda, in which case Wayne Campbell would be the obvious choice.

Adelaide are closing in on appointing a replacement for outgoing football boss Brett Burton, but it won’t be Wayne Campbell.

With Brady Rawlings announced as North Melbourne’s replacement for Cameron Joyce in July, senior positions in football departments are few and far between.

But the availability of someone of Wayne Campbell’s stature are rare and so several clubs may be trying to make room.

His departure from GWS – following a difference of opinion with CEO Dave Matthews – comes at a precarious time for the competition’s youngest club.

The Giants have lost their head of football, their senior assistant to Leon Cameron in Matthew Knicks and their head of high performance, David Joyce, in the space of three months.

Who replaces McCartney as list manager is yet to be determined.

National recruiting boss Adrian Caruso would be the obvious replacement, but the club is yet to determine if he is ready for an expanded role and rate him highly in his current position.

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