Former Sydney Swans player Colin O’Riordan has been appointed Head Coach of the QBE Sydney Swans Male Academy.

The Irishman has recently been an integral part of Sydney’s AFLW coaching group, helping guide the team to its first finals appearance in just its second season in the competition.

Originally signed as a rookie in 2015 when playing Gaelic football for Tipperary, O’Riordan made his AFL debut three years later in Round 17, 2018 against North Melbourne. He went on to play 34 senior games of AFL in the red and white and took out the 2021 Best Clubman Award, before being forced into early retirement due to a hip injury.

Since then, O’Riordan has dedicated his time and energy into becoming a coach at the Swans. He takes the Academy reigns from Mark McVeigh, who has joined Sydney’s AFL program as an assistant coach.

Newly appointed Executive General Manager – Football, Leon Cameron, said O’Riordan is a fantastic addition to the Academy ranks.

“Colin is a wonderful young coach and someone who is incredibly passionate about teaching others. We have been extremely impressed with his work in the AFLW program where he has demonstrated leadership, a tremendous work ethic and exemplary football knowledge – which is even more impressive given he has only been in our industry since 2015,” Cameron said.

“We’re thrilled to be able to elevate Colin to this role and look forward to watching him nurture our up-and-coming talent.”

O’Riordan will start in the position immediately and said he is excited about the opportunity.

“It’s pretty special. I came here in 2015 and it was a bit of a journey initially, I never envisioned myself being in this role. I fell in love with the place and it’s a massive honour and I’m really proud,” O’Riordan said.

“Short term goal is to get to know the kids and their families, get them to understand what professional standards look like and just give them the best opportunity to succeed.”