Brisbane’s Emma Zielke has gone from premiership-winning captain to assistant coach with the AFLW premiers.

Zielke hung up her boots after leading the Lions to this year’s 18-point grand final win over Adelaide in April.

The 33-year-old has made an immediate transition to coaching however and was officially announced as the Lions’ first female assistant coach on Tuesday.

Head coach Craig Starcevich said the move was a logical progression for both Zielke and the Lions.

“After five years in an elite program, we thought the time was perfect to bring an experienced ex-player into the football coaching group,” Starcevich said.

“Her knowledge of our style, understanding of the strengths of the playing group, and analysis of stats and vision as coaching tools make her a great addition to our coaching staff.”

Zielke’s appointment comes after former AFL player Brent Staker departed the Lions’ AFLW coaching staff last week.

The 37-year-old had been the Lions’ defensive coach since the inaugural AFLW campaign in 2017.

Zielke said Staker’s departure prompted her to put her hand up for the coaching position.

“To be honest, I didn’t think the opportunity to coach would come up so soon, but with Stakes leaving I threw my name in the hat,” she said.

“After a good conversation with Bree (Brock, Lions women’s football head) and Craig, they thought it was the right fit.”

Premiership captain now Lions AFLW coach
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