AFL player and AFLW coach Brent Staker farewells the Lions

Broken Hill turned Brisbane boy Brent Staker has departed the Lions AFLW coaching ranks.

The 37-year-old, grew up playing football in the far western New South Wales outback town. 

Playing 160 games at the top level for both West Coast (110) and Brisbane (50) over a 13-year career.

The Lions Defensive Coach was a foundational member of the team’s staff since 2016, and departs on a high after winning the 2021 premiership.

For Staker and the Lions players it’sthis year’s victory was well worth the wait, after two previous AFLW Grand Finals losses in 2017 and 2018.

“Third time lucky for me….I mean I’ve been in footy for a long time and to get a premiership on the coaching side is great,” he said.

The Brisbane Lions AFLW coaching staff celebrate their 2021 premiership. (



Brisbane grateful to Staker

According to the club’s Head of Women’s Football, Breanna Brock, Staker is leaving the club in a strong position.

“Stakes has been there right from the beginning,” Brock Said.

Staker said he found coaching particularly challenging at first, especially considering he had little experience coaching women.

“When I walked into the AFLW environment, I’d never really coached women.”

An AFLW coach for the Brisbane Lions watches training.
Brent Staker has coached at the Lions since their inception in 2016. (



An AFL pathway in an NRL state

Staker has thoroughly enjoyed his time coaching the Lions, and has witnessed firsthand the growth of the women’s game in Queensland.

“It’s just gone strength to strength, for a city that’s mainly rugby league and rugby union to now have another (sporting) avenue for women is huge.”

Staker and his partner, celebrity chef Justine Schofield, are hoping to move south to the harbour city in the new year.

A man in a blue puffer vest, standing next to a blonde woman smiling for a photo.
Brent Staker visited his hometown Broken Hill with his partner Justine Schofield last year. (



“Justine’s a Sydney girl…and there’s a pathway to get to Sydney”

“Justine’s quite busy and she’s got some stuff going all around Australia, but the plan is to get to Sydney at some stage.”

Not done coaching yet

Staker certainly hasn’t ruled out continuing his coaching career, far from it. He’s keeping his options open.

“Whether I get back involved in Sydney I’m not sure,” he said. 

With a Swans AFLW side entering the competition in late 2022, there’s a chance silver city native, who has coached in the competition could find himself in red and white. 

“It’s a great opportunity, maybe it’s a good thing to be living there at this time, and then we’ll see if there is an assistant coaching, or skills coaching or coaching job.

But look there’s lots of water to go under the bridge and we’ll tackle that I suppose as it gets closer,” he said. 

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