The Demons have undergone several mid-season changes as they look to bounce back from a disappointing start to 2019.
Widely tipped to challenge for the flag coming off a preliminary final appearance, Simon Goodwin’s side currently sits 16th with just three wins.
Melbourne GM of Football Operations Josh Mahoney said the changes were made following a host of in-house discussions over the last few weeks.
“It certainly hasn’t gone to plan this year – we didn’t expect to be in this position on the ladder at the mid-way point of the season, let alone dealing with so many long-term injuries to senior players,” he told Melbourne Media.
“At different times throughout the year we have tried a variety of initiatives in an attempt to get us back playing our style of football, but we have clearly found it challenging to execute over four quarters.
“Over the last couple of weeks, the club has taken the opportunity to seek feedback from players, coaches and football staff to identify the clear opportunities for us to improve for the back-half of the season.”
The key movements include an overhaul of the coaching ranks, with the club’s VFL coach Jade Rawlings set to lead the senior side’s forwards, with Casey assistant Sam Radford taking over the top job.
Brendan MCartney will move from defensive coach into a mentoring role for both the AFL and VFL coaches and Troy Chaplin will become the standalone backline coach.
Max Rooke, who had been looking after the forwards, will move back into a development role alongside McCartney and fellow ex-Cat Matthew Egan.
Mahoney had full faith in Radford was the man to lead Casey for the remainder of the season, currently sitting 11th on the VFL ladder with three wins.
“When we went through all the candidates, Sam Radford … became the leading candidate to take over for the remainder of the year,” he said.
“He’s already got established relationships out there with the players, he knows our game style, he’s coached senior footy in his own right to premierships at amateur level and we know he’s excited by that opportunity.”
Lastly, Dr. Zeeshan Arain will take over head of medical services as the club prepares for David Mission to depart his role as elite performance manager at the end of the season to join his family in Canada. Phil Merriman will become head of fitness.
Mahoney added that the club was “wasting no time” in their bid to improve on the field.
“When you identify those opportunities, you’ve got a choice to make. You either do it now or you do it at the end of the year,” he said.
“Our mindset is we’re not wasting a minute on getting better. We want to attack these last 10 home and away games and give ourselves the best chance to maximise that.”