Colin O'Riordan (file pic). Laszlo Geczo/INPHO
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Tipp's Colin O'Riordan returns to Sydney Swans in coaching role

He will assist the AFLW programme in the absence of head coach Scott Gowans.

COLIN O’RIORDAN HAS returned to Sydney Swans in a coaching role with the AFLW programme.

The former AFL defender is set to assist the women’s team in the absence of head coach Scott Gowans, who has undergone surgery for prostate cancer.

O’Riordan will work with three Irish players — Kerry duo Paris McCarthy and Julie O’Sullivan and Roscommon’s Jennifer Higgins — at the Swans.

The Tipperary footballer called time on his AFL career at the end of the 2022 season due to a hip injury, having played 34 games for the club since his debut in 2018.

“It’s very exciting to be back and be involved (again) with the Swans,” O’Riordan told the club’s website.

“I make no secret of what the place means to me (and will be) helping the girls out as much as I can. It’s nice to be able to come in and help out, and hopefully pass on some knowledge I have from the game.

“I think there’s a few subtle little things that you will pass on. I think the biggest thing I learned is that everyone will hold your hand and help you out, but no one is going to tell you what to do, and how to do it.

“If I can pass on one message to the girls, it’s to drive your own career and you can steer it in any way you want to. If you put the hard work in and put your head down, you will reach whatever goal you want to reach.”

The team finished their inaugural season in the AFLW without a win but there is plenty of promise and excitement building, as well as improvements being targeted, ahead of their second campaign.

“I think that’s the biggest thing, the youth and excitement within in the group,” O’Riordan added.

“They have been awesome since I have been here (coaching). Last year they didn’t record a win, but hopefully they can build on last season, which was a really competitive competition. I’m really excited to be part of the programme and can go somewhere this year.”

The 27-year-old Templemore native has little coaching experience, but says he may look to former mentor John ‘Horse’ Longmire for some advice.

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