Collingwood’s highly-respected football boss Graham Wright will take a sabbatical from the AFL until next year’s finals.
After up to 35-straight years involved in football, Wright will take leave from March to September next year during the Magpies’ premiership defence.
The 55-year-old will head with his wife Tracey to Europe and the United States in a move supported by club hierarchy.
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“Having extended leave and spending some time travelling overseas during our winter has been on the cards for me for a few years and now is the right time for my wife and I to do that,” Wright said in a press conference called on Friday.
“It has been a great few seasons at Collingwood so far and to reach the ultimate success with our men’s program this year is a real credit to everyone involved at our club.”
Collingwood are yet to decide on Wright’s interim replacement but he is confident he is leaving the football department in a strong position.
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Graham Wright will take leave from the club next year. Credit: Getty
“Wrighty and I have been discussing this for some time now and while he will be away for a six-month period travelling overseas, he will continue to provide assistance to me and the club as a consultant where required,” Magpies chief executive Craig Kelly said.“He has ensured the football program is well-placed during his time away – we have great leaders internally with the skills and capability to step up in Graham’s absence and through this period.“More broadly, as a club, we want to ensure that there is opportunity for senior leaders at Collingwood to have a work-life balance and normalise this type of leave for our key people.”
Wright, a 1990 premiership player with the Magpies, spent an extended period at Hawthorn under Alastair Clarkson before moving across to Collingwood in 2021.