Essendon Football Club is delighted to announce the appointment of the highly regarded Dale Tapping to the position of assistant coach (forwards).

With over 23 years of coaching experience, Tapping will boost the Bombers’ coaching brigade working under senior coach Ben Rutten and alongside fellow assistant coaches Blake Caracella (midfield) and Daniel Giansiracusa (defence) and development coaches Leigh Tudor and Cam Roberts. 

Having most recently been the midfield coach at the Brisbane Lions under Chris Fagan for the past five seasons, Tapping had a successful five-year stint at Collingwood and was named the 2016 VFL Coach of the Year after leading the Pies’ reserves team to a preliminary final. 

A talented VFA player in his own right, Tapping guided the Sandringham Dragons to the TAC Cup premiership in 2011, had a stint at the Western Jets, and has also coached Old Brighton and Old Scotch in the VAFA. 

General manager of football Josh Mahoney welcomed Tapping to the Bombers.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Dale, wife Kelly and their children Summer and Mason to the red and black family,” Mahoney said.

“Dale comes to our club highly regarded for his extensive coaching experience, but also for his clear communication skills and ability to develop strong relationships to maximise players’ talent. We’ve seen the work he has done with Brisbane’s successful midfield brigade and his ability to help the development of younger players will be very beneficial at our club for our emerging playing list. 

“Dale will be a terrific support for Ben Rutten and will complement the other members of our coaching group with his philosophies and cultural impact. 

“We look forward to having him hit the ground running when our program commences its 2022 pre-season campaign in November.” 

Tapping said he was excited to work closely with Ben Rutten and the Bombers’ coaching panel. 

“I’m very excited and grateful for the opportunity to be part of a club like Essendon,” Tapping said. 

“We had five great years in Brisbane and I’m thankful to Chris Fagan and the Brisbane Lions for the opportunity to be part of that organisation. It’s been great to have seen their rise up the ladder but it is now time for the next chapter back in Melbourne for our family.  

“As I’ve said to Ben (Rutten) and Josh (Mahoney) in recent days, I’m really excited for the opportunity Essendon has afforded me. From afar, I could see the Essendon players look like they really enjoyed playing their footy this season, and it seems a really positive environment to come into.

“I look forward to working with the coaches and players to help take this group forward in 2022 and beyond.” 

Tapping will commence his role in November.