The AFL Outer East has confirmed the departures of Football Development Manager Danny Ryan and Umpire Operations Manager Scott Van Noordennen, and welcomes the arrival of new Operations Coordinator Sebastian Mueller-Schmuki ahead of the 2021 season.
Ryan commenced his role of Football Development Manager in 2017, arriving with over 30 years’ experience in the AFL Outer East region as a player, coach and mentor.
Well-known across the Outer East, Ryan has left a lasting impact on the league as a five-time Woori Yallock premiership player, three-time senior premiership coach, 300-gamer and life member. He has also spent time in the AFL Outer East senior and junior interleague coaching roles.
During his tenure as Football Development Manager, Ryan drew on his passion for the local community, and leaves having successfully played a part in growing football within the AFL Outer East region.
“After a lifetime at club land, it’s been really great working at the league on the other side of things, having that insight into what it’s like and the biggest picture stuff,” Ryan said.
“I’m really proud to have played a part in supporting the league over the last few years, as well as being a part of the Junior Interleague program and being involved in significant changes there including the alignment with Eastern Ranges.”
Ryan won’t be moving far, having accepted the role of Talent Operations Lead at Eastern Ranges.
“It was important to me to stay within the region and I see this next step as a continuation of what I’ve achieved over the last three years,” Ryan said.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to foster connections with clubs, coaches and players in the community.”
Van Noordennen moved across to the league in 2019 with almost 30 years of umpiring and football experience at all levels and locations to his name.
He departs the AFL Outer East having not just managed the umpire department, but having worked closely with all clubs within the league to aid their strategic development and long-term future.
“While we unfortunately didn’t get to go ahead with the 2020 season, I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the talent identification and development process, and creating a stronger transition between the junior and senior umpire pathway,” Van Noordennen said.
“The AFL Outer East has a special sense of community. I’ve appreciated the opportunity to be involved with the league and I look forward to watching it continue to grow over the next few years.”
Regional General Manager Aaron Bailey thanked Ryan and Van Noordennen for their service to the league.
“Danny has been exceptional in his time with AFL Outer East. The quality of work Danny has delivered, particularly in coaching and development, is highlighted through this appointment with Eastern Ranges. The improvement of the AFL Outer East talent pathway program and the structures put in place by Danny will have long term benefits for the region,” he said.
“Scott has made an outstanding contribution to umpiring at community level and his departure is a significant loss for umpiring in both our region and across the state. Through Covid, he has been able to build a wonderful career opportunity in another industry, which he will thrive in.”
“It is fantastic to see the development of our staff being recognised across both Football and broader industries. It has been a focus of ours to develop our staff and create pathways for them into the elite levels of the game.”
Moving forward, the role of Director of Umpiring will be split into two roles. The AFL Outer East will appoint a Head Coach, which will be advertised shortly, while Mueller-Schmuki will come on board as Operations Coordinator – Programs.
Mueller-Schmuki is no stranger to the Outer East, having held previous roles including Game Development Officer and also Junior Interleague Coordinator.
In his new role, Mueller-Schmuki, who has a degree in Exercise Science and Sports Management, will manage the off-field administration of umpiring as well as strength and conditioning.
Mueller-Schmuki said it was an ideal position for him, combining both his areas of expertise.
“It’s the perfect role for me and a fantastic start in the industry. I’m also looking forward to continuing my work with the interleague competition,” he said.
“Being from the Outer East region myself, I can’t wait to connect with the community and for us to have footy and netball back in 2021.”
Ryan and Van Noordennen follow the appointment of former AFL Outer East Staff members Zak Kennedy (Carlton) and Jessie Mulholland (Melbourne) to AFL roles.
Bailey expressed his excitement about Mueller-Schmuki’s appointment.
“Sebastian has earned his opportunity, thriving in multiple roles with both Outer East and Eastern Ranges. He has undertaken a long apprenticeship under Danny and will be able to hit the ground running in his role, having done many aspects of the role already over the past 18 months,” he said.