In another big step for Tasmania’s football pathways, AFL Tasmania is excited to announce the appointment of David O’Sign as State Talent Manager. In this role, O’Sign will oversee Tasmania’s entire talent pathways for boys and girls from under-12s through to the under-18 Coates Talent League programs, across all three regions.

O’Sign is a Tasmanian that knows what it takes for programs like these to thrive, and he has vast experience in leading teams with statewide footprints. A highly experienced manager with a background in psychology and youth development, O’Sign has previously worked in the sporting space at the Western Australian Institute of Sport and the Tasmanian Institute of Sport, as well as being a hands-on psychologist for Australia’s junior men’s hockey teams.

O’Sign has been a manager of youth development across various organisations, including most recently as the State Director of 54 Reasons, a group that champions children’s rights to development, safety, and justice.

In his new role, O’Sign will lead the entire Tasmania Devils talent program and staff, including coaches. He will work closely with recently appointed Talent Pathways Skill Acquisition Coach Brad Cox-Goodyer in rolling out the state’s new academies for 12–15-year-old boys and girls.

O’Sign is based out of Launceston and commenced in the role on March 25.

State Talent Manager, David O’Sign: 

“I am really excited to take on the role of Talent Manager during such a pivotal and exciting time for football in Tasmania. We’ve got a unique opportunity through our talent pathways to develop young men and women into AFL and AFLW level footballers. Not only that, but now these young footballers can pull on the guernsey for their home state.

“I’ll be drawing on the wealth of knowledge that already exists within AFL Tasmania to ensure we deliver regional academies and talent pathways that are evidence-based and promote best practice. In that respect, my focus will be on ensuring we develop great footballers, but also well-rounded young men and women.

“Our talent pathway environments will be welcoming, inclusive and fun, but they will also be highly professional. I want to make sure we do this in a collaborative way, so an important first step for me will be getting out into the football community and speaking to key football people about our vision for Tasmanian boys and girls who enjoy playing footy.

“I grew up in regional Tasmania playing footy and I understand the importance it has for many Tasmanians. I’ve also had the opportunity to work in elite sport settings, so I’m looking forward to bringing that experience to the role.”

Head of AFL Tasmania, Damian Gill: 

“It is great to welcome Dave to our team to lead an exciting period for talent pathways and talent development in our state.

“He is a quality person with a unique management skillset across sports psychology and youth development that makes him a super fit for this role.

“Dave will play a crucial role in bringing together a best practice youth talent pathway for our girls and boys across our three regions. He will lead our passionate and talented team to give our girls and boys excellent support and provide them with the best chance of achieving their football dreams.

“Dave along with Brad will be integral in rolling out our new 12-15 academies that will have a strong focus on player and coach development across our state.

“There has never been a better time to be a girl or boy aspiring to play AFL and AFLW football in Tasmania.”

Tassie talent set for turbo boost 

In November last year, the AFL and AFL Tasmania announced that talent pathways for young footballers in Tasmania will be among the country’s best as the AFL invests $500,000 a year into developing the state’s homegrown talent.

With a key priority to attract the most talented athletes in the state, the program will aim to develop boys and girls across Tasmania’s three regions, enabling as many players as possible the chance to realise their dreams of being drafted to the AFL and AFLW competitions.

This followed the AFL announcing in May 2023 that Tasmania had been granted the 19th licence to join the league and within its overall $360 million investment package, committed to investing $33 million to develop young male and female talent in Tasmania.

Read the full announcement here: