MELBOURNE has lost a key member of its high performance team with Rob Jackson departing the club to head up the AFL umpires high performance program.
Foxfooty.com.au understands Jackson, who previously worked at Melbourne Storm and under Ross Lyon at St Kilda, will be part of a revamped umpiring department in 2018 that has just appointed Grant Williams to replace Peter Schwab as umpires boss.
Jackson’s departure is a big blow for the Demons just weeks out from the JLT Community Series. The club’s administration and football staff were notified on Monday morning of his departure.
In 2007 Jackson was nicknamed “The Shadow” as he tailed strength and conditioning boss Alex Corvo at the Storm. In 2010 and 2011 he worked alongside guru Dave Misson at the Saints before the pair joined the Demons in 2012.
Misson had previously spent years in Cricket Australia’s high performance program.
Jackson was highly rated at the Demons. His forthright style appealed to players, while his work ethic saw motivated youngsters such as Dom Tyson and Jayden Hunt bulk up enormously in a short period of time thanks to Christmas Day sessions and detailed training plans.
Many of these additional training sessions were held offsite at ‘The Cage’, which is Jackson’s private gym.
He helped Clayton Oliver slice his skinfolds and bolt into Brownlow Medal contention in 2017 and assisted Max Gawn in his quest to develop into one of the AFL’s premier big men.
It is unclear who will replace Jackson in his role as strength and conditioning coach.
James McGeoch is currently listed on the club’s website as the assistant to Jackson, while former Bulldog and Demons midfielder Daniel Cross is well renowned as a development and rehabilitation coach but is still in the early years of his post-playing career.
Jackson’s departure is expected to be announced as early as Monday afternoon.