MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 12: Scott Pendlebury (left) and Luke Ball speak to the media during the Australian International Rules Series Team Announcement at AFL House on October 12, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Former St Kilda and Collingwood player Luke Ball will join Essendon’s coaching ranks in 2018 as a new player performance manager. 

Ball will help establish player culture within the club from next week onwards when he arrives at Essendon’s Tullamarine headquarters. 

Ball’s signing continues an impressive off-season for the Bombers with new football boss Dan Richardson excited to have landed someone of Ball’s calibre. 

“We are really excited to have Luke join the Club in this important role,” Richardson said.
“Luke is highly respected and brings over 15 years of AFL industry experience to the club.

“His extensive knowledge of football both as a player and in many areas throughout the AFL make his appointment a significant result for the club.”

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After a wave of experienced and old heads departed the club at the end of 2017, Ball said he looks forward to working with a group that has been through more than most in recent times. 

“The club has clearly shown great resilience over recent years to work their way through an extremely difficult period, into a position of opportunity and optimism,” Ball said.

“I look forward to working with and learning from a hungry and exciting young playing list, group of coaches and staff, who in unison have an intense desire to maximise their opportunity and potential”.

With a number of new personnel joining the playing list both through the draft and trade period, Ball will work closely with coaches and players as well as Richardson, as put by people and culture general manager Lisa Lawry. 

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“Luke will be responsible for building and developing the leadership capability across our playing group as well as coach development, maximising the relationship between coaches and the playing group, and building the alignment between the players shared vision and the broader club values,” Lawry said.