AFL Tasmania is excited to announce the appointment of one of Tasmania’s greatest ever AFLW players, Jess Wuetschner, to the role of Devils Girls Head Coach in 2024.

Wuetschner fills the Devils coaching role with experience matched by very few Tasmanians, recently calling time on an illustrious and trailblazing AFLW career across Brisbane Lions and Essendon Bombers.

Wuetschner played 55 AFLW games across eight seasons, including a 2021 Premiership medal, a 2018 All-Australian blazer and two club leading goalkicker awards.

Tasmanian-born Wuetschner brings to AFL Tasmania a deep skillset from all levels of football, having forged her football journey dominating the sport in multiple states, winning the TSLW’s leading goal-kicker and best and fairest award each year from 2011-13.

She then played in the WAFL ahead of starting a brilliant AFLW career in the sunshine state.

Wuetschner’s transition to coaching emerged in recent years with her involvement as a coach in Essendon’s VFLW program. She returns home now to continue her coaching journey, taking on a job that is close to her heart with the development of Tasmanian girls.

Wuetschner enters the State Girls Development Coach role with a deep understanding of Tasmania’s football landscape and the pathways that exist from community football right through to the AFLW.

Adding to a growing list of credentials and experience, Wuetschner was also part of Workplay, the AFL’s industry-first careers platform that connects women athletes in football to flexible employment, educational resources, and professional development opportunities.

Through the program she was placed in a Safety focused role at John Holland, the program’s major partner.

Through her new role, she will plan, manage, and lead the talented player pathway program that supports the development and progression of Tasmania’s best footballers to be ready for AFLW; as well as those players that transition into community football. She officially commenced in the role on February 19.

Wuetschner fills the Devils Girls coaching role vacated by Jodie Clifford who stepped down earlier this year to pursue other career opportunities, after playing a big part in the success of the Devils program in 2023.

Wuetschner’s appointment follows strong growth for Tasmania’s women and girls coaching, with more women and girls taking up coaching last year – up 16.9 per cent on the year prior.

Quotes attributable to Head of AFL Tasmania, Damian Gill:

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Jess to our team and back home to Tasmania.

“Jess’s AFLW resume is unparalleled in our state. She is probably the greatest we have produced, and it is incredibly exciting to know she will be imparting her knowledge and experience onto the next generation of Tasmanian girls.

“She has paved the way as a player for girls and women to follow in her footsteps with an amazing AFLW career, and now as a coach she will lead our state and work with Tasmania’s best emerging talent.

“It is a triumph for our program to have a person of Jess’s calibre return to the state to lead the girls’ program and it speaks to the excitement that is building for the game in our state.”

Quotes attributable to incoming Devils Girls Coach Jess Wuetschner: 

“I’m incredibly excited about this opportunity and the future of Women and Girls’ football in Tasmania.

“Being able to help teach the next generation of Tassie’s best footballers and hopefully help them grow on and off field is a key reason why I took this role.

“It means so much to me to return home – to be with family and friends again fills my heart. Tassie has always been a huge support for me in my career and I hope I can do us proud.

“I’m now looking forward to meeting the rest of the team, getting to know everyone, and getting to work.

“Of course, the goal is to win games, help Tasmanian girls become better footballers and get as many girls drafted as possible. But the most important thing to me is that the experience of playing at the Devils is a positive and enjoyable one that the girls can look back on.

“I’ve watched the growth of women and girls’ football in Tasmania over the years and it’s been incredible to see. The pathways are obviously starting to pay off with three girls drafted last year.”