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Collingwood’s dramatic shake-up continues

McRae (left) and Leppitsch (right) also worked together as Tigers assistant coaches. Picture: Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

The Collingwood Magpies have secured the services of former AFL senior coaches Justin Leppitsch and Brendon Bolton from next season.

Both men will serve as assistants to newly appointed senior coach Craig McRae, as the Magpies look to recover from their disastrous 2021 campaign.

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Leppitsch, who coached Brisbane from 2014 until 2017, has signed on as Collingwood’s new head of strategy and will also work with the club’s defenders.

Prior to their coaching careers, Leppitsch and McRae played together at the Lions, with whom they won three premierships from 2001-2003.

Leppitsch had previously been linked with the senior coaching position at Carlton, which is still yet to be filled.

Bolton began coaching Carlton in 2016 but was sacked midway through 2019. Picture: Julian Smith / AAP
Bolton began coaching Carlton in 2016 but was sacked midway through 2019. Picture: Julian Smith / AAP

Former Blues coach Bolton will take on the director of coaching role at the Pies next year and is also set to serve as a midfield coach.

Bolton struggled to get the Blues off the ground during his time at Ikon Park but, alongside McRae, found premiership success as an assistant coach under Hawthorn’s Alastair Clarkson.

“We set out to appoint a team of coaches who complemented each other, a group of diverse football thinkers and relationship builders who have also shared in a lot of success that could mould our young squad. With the appointments of Justin and Brendon, I think we’ve gone a fair way to doing that,” said Collingwood general manager of football Graham Wright.

“We see that Justin’s and Brendon’s attributes complement our profile well. Approximately half of our list in 2022 will comprise of one-three year players. The football education we provide them, therefore, will be important.

“Craig is very strong on establishing habits that will underpin a collective approach to success. We are all really pleased to have Brendon and Justin join the program.”

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