Fremantle has further beefed up its development academy with the addition of AIS/AFL high performance coach Jason McCartney.

McCartney joins Fremantle following a seven-year stint in junior development with the AFL.

Most recently, he has overseen the AFL’s high-performance unit which has fostered the best of the best in recent drafts – giving him an insight not only into what it takes get the best out of young talent but also a glimpse into the next young batch coming through.

Fremantle football manager Chris Bond said McCartney would complement the club’s development program.

“Given Jason’s playing background and expertise in player development, we are delighted to have secured his services as a development coach,” Bond said.

“We believe Jason will significantly enhance our development academy, which is headed by senior development coach Simon Lloyd.”

Before becoming involved in his work with junior football, McCartney enjoyed a long career at AFL level.

He played 182 matches with Collingwood, Adelaide and North Melbourne across 13 seasons at the top level.

After retiring in 2003, McCartney first worked as the AFL’s youth and high performance coordinator, a position he held until 2009 when he took on his current role as AIS/AFL high performance coach.

Now at Fremantle, he will join Lloyd, recently appointed development coach Ashley Prescott and part-time development coach Shaun McManus in the club’s development academy.

AFL general manager of international and national development David Matthews praised McCartney for his work with the game development team and said a replacement would be named in the coming months.

“Jason’s work in the talent pathway with Kevin Sheehan and until recently Alan McConnell has involved mentoring some of the future stars of the game including players such as Daniel Rich, Nic Natanui, and Tom Scully,” Matthews said.

“He has always gone above and beyond and also played a role in the testing and recruitment of both Karmichael Hunt and Israel Folau.

“His role as leader and mentor of young talent created the template upon which we have since engaged former players including Michael Voss, Nathan Buckley, Luke Darcy, Tom Harley, Matthew Lloyd and Michael O’Loughlin.”

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