Outgoing Carlton AFLW coach Daniel Harford has spoken out about his sacking from the club and the AFLW program, stating that the Blues need to be doing more.
Carlton announced the findings to a review of the AFLW program on Tuesday, finding that the club required a full-time coach in order for the program to move forward, subsequently parting ways with Harford.
Speaking on his RSN radio show on Wednesday, Harford said that while he was "fortunate" for his time and opportunities at the club, they needed to "get serious" about the direction of the women's program.
“I'm really fortunate. I've got other opportunities,” Harford said.
“The time is now for the footy club to get serious with the program and catch up to the rest of the competition.”
The 45-year-old went on to say that while he agreed a full-time coach was a positive step in the development of the competition, it was not the only role within the program that should be given full-time status.
“I'm still not 100 per cent convinced of what high performance in a part-time program actually is,” Harford said.
“If you're measuring from the men's program perspective, well, you're in the wrong room.
“If you've got part-time people … trying to develop and initiate this high-performance program, after working their other jobs for the day, that's a real challenge, I reckon.
“The club needs to invest and the game needs to have people in the different silos… they almost all need to be full-time employees of the footy club.”
While the review into the women's program was conducted after the Season 7, a similar one was launched into the AFL program in 2021, which led to the departure of David Teague. As a result, Harford says the club took their eyes off the AFLW program in favour of the men.
“There's clearly been a real focus on the boys program,” he said.
“I think perhaps there was an eye taken off the AFLW program. They give themselves a bit of a clip in the release, as well, where they say that the review found a clear vision for AFLW was required.
“They've admitted they took their eye off the ball with the AFLW program and left us to run our own race a bit, without the support that perhaps we needed off the smell of an oily rag."
Harford's criticisms didn't stop at just his former club, admitting that the competition itself should reflect on their own operations.
“The competition could have a bit of a review of itself and what the AFLW competition is," Harford said.
“I think they do get left. If they're serious about it … there's an opportunity for them to reflect on the competition, how it's managed, how it's run. How it's operated week to week with the ground facilities as well.”
The Blues managed just two wins last season, finishing in 14th position.