AFL NSW/ACT CEO Sam Graham to take up national States and Game Development Role


The AFL is proud to announce that AFL NSW/ACT CEO Sam Graham has been appointed to the national role Head of States and Game Development.

Over the last five years, Sam has been the CEO of AFL NSW/ACT, where he oversaw record growth in participation and community football, drove major facilities projects and investment, structural reform and investment in community football and improved commercial outcomes as well as collaborating with the Sydney Swans and GIANTS to drive record membership numbers for both clubs.

Sam has previously held roles with the AFL, as GM of Strategy & Club Services, and has over 14 years-experience across finance, strategy, management and leadership roles.

In his new role, Sam will be responsible for leading all AFL’s State Bodies and the national game development team including Community Football, International, Facilities, Coaching and the Diversity teams. Sam’s role will ensure community football will continue to drive growth, sustainability and diversity of Australian Football across the nation.

Sam will commence in his new role from the end of January and will transition back to Melbourne from Sydney with his wife Amanda and two boys by the end of March.

Sam said that he was excited about his new role after nearly five years as CEO of AFL NSW/ACT.

“I am really looking forward to this exciting new challenge as Head of States and Game Development, and it will give me the opportunity to collaborate with all our states and head office to drive growth for our game nationally.

I have loved every minute of my time as CEO of AFL NSW/ACT working with talented people who have helped us to drive record growth, where we now have more males, females and children playing AFL, than ever before in this market.

I have been privileged to work and collaborate with a fantastic network of community clubs across NSW and the ACT with volunteers that continue to the heart of our game with their dedication and hard work. 

Our game is in great shape in NSW/ACT with the Sydney Swans and the GWS GIANTS enjoying record membership numbers, female participation is second nationally behind Victoria, vital investment is being made in diversity and inclusion and we have strong relationships with local stakeholders and all levels of government, as we collaborate to address our code’s facility shortage across metro Sydney.

I will still have oversight of the growth of the game in this market, and I am confident that we have a strong plan and great people to continue the momentum we have built.”

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