Sam Graham named AFL NSW/ACT CEO

Graham joined the AFL in 2005 as a Strategic Planner and filled a number of roles in Strategic Planning within the AFL, before being appointed to the AFL Executive as a General Manager in May 2013.

McLachlan said the appointment of Graham was a key role for the wider growth of the game nationally.

“Sam is an extremely talented executive with a strong strategic background and the continued growth of our sport in NSW and the ACT is of primary importance to our code,” Mr McLachlan said.

“His appointment is a recognition of the opportunity for our game in this key market, and the importance of the role of the State Leagues in the growth of our game.  

“Having an Executive of Sam’s capability will allow us to capitalise on the hard work of many people over a number of years.”

Mr McLachlan said he was also pleased the appointment of Graham to the CEO role further established a clear career pathway for key talent to progress within the broader industry.

Graham, 39, said he was thrilled with the chance to take this next step within the AFL industry.

“I am really excited to take on this opportunity, and see it as privilege on behalf of the AFL to lead our passionate team in this market,” Graham said.

“I see my role to bring together the AFL’s efforts - across both AFL Clubs, our investment in talent, community football, participation and facilities - to grow the game in NSW and the ACT.

“NSW and the ACT have been and remain among the most important areas for the game – we are proud of what we have achieved so far, however we believe there is still enormous opportunity for further growth,” Mr Graham said.

Staff at AFL NSW/ACT were notified of his appointment this morning and Graham will take up his role after Easter, effective Tuesday April 7.

Graham takes over the role from former Sydney Swans premiership player Craig Bolton, who resigned to pursue a career in private enterprise.

Sam Graham completed a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University.

He started as a graduate at KPMG in 1997, in the corporate recovery division, and studied at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia in 1999 to become a chartered accountant.

In 2001, he started a role in strategic finance at Centrica plc, based in London. After a contract at Foster’s Group in Melbourne in 2005, he joined the AFL in September 2005 as a Strategic Planner.

In January 2009, he was appointed Manager – Strategy, and in September 2011 was appointed Manager – Club Services.

He was appointed to the AFL Executive in May 2013 as General Manager, Strategy and Club Services.


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