New Hawthorn coach Daniel Webster has plenty of experience under his belt ahead of his first stint at the elite level, having been involved in 80 games over the past two years.

Webster has been Brisbane's midfield coach for the past three seasons, juggling his responsibilities at the Lions with his senior job with QAFL men's side Aspley.

"My career was cut short due to injuries, so finished in my early 20s. Took some time off, went to uni, got a degree, then after a while – my dad was coaching the local women's side and asked me to come down and run a few sessions," Webster told

"I then started with Aspley, and I've been there for 14 years in a wide variety of roles. In the last six years, I've coached my own side, and that's been through the QAFL, NEAFL and VFL.

"Mixed in with that, was the last three seasons of AFLW with Brisbane, as midfield coach. It's been very hectic, I think I've coached in around 80 football games in the past two years.

"The opportunity was there – it's not something I'd recommend anyone to do. I'd worked at Aspley to set up the program and we were coming into a window of potential success (Aspley won QAFL flags in 2022 and 2023), and I wanted to get into the W space as well.

"I've clearly got a very supportive wife as well. It's been tough, but at the same time, it's been good because it's forced me to work on my skills around time management, communication – I've been lucky enough in that time to have a lot of success while balancing the workload."

Hawthorn has won six-and-a-half of 20 games over its two-year history in the AFLW, and in 2024, 13 of its list of 30 are 21 years old or younger.

"There's a lot of untapped potential. I think with the system I want to play, we could be a dangerous side straight away," Webster said.

"The recruits who have come in, the draftees, the players who are already there, it's just super exciting. It's a list I'm looking forward to working with and from all reports and in terms of meeting the players and talking to the players, they're very hungry. 

"Going through the process and having the club talk about their vision for the program, and where they want to take it and the resources they want to put into it, that's really appealing as well. That aligns with my vision of what I want, and I think working together, hopefully we can build a really solid foundation and build something special. 

"I think the other thing too, while I'm at it – being at Aspley for 12 years, [continuing to wear] the brown and gold was very appealing as well."

In Webster's time at Brisbane, the Lions won the flag, were runners up and made a preliminary final, and the club is widely regarded as having one of the top women's programs in the competition.

"The players now coming into the system are now far more advanced in terms of their football IQ, their understanding of high performance and what needs to happen, strength and conditioning, so I think that's a big shift that's happened," he said.

"Every year, the players are getting fitter, stronger, they're quicker, their understanding of the game is better, and that's allowing more of a shift to the strategic and tactical side of the game. 

"We're starting to see that now with teams who have more of a defensive press or zone, as opposed to one-on-one. The ball movement's getting quicker, there are different strategies around stoppages, so there's a lot more happening around that space."

Webster will be reuniting with former charge Emily Bates, who was a leader of the Lions' midfield before she made the move south ahead of the 2023 season.

"I spent two seasons coaching 'Batesy', and like any player when you're dealing with people that closely, you spend a lot of time together, lot of vision and talking about the game and life," he said.

"I think one thing about 'Batesy' that I love is her competitiveness and her want to improve and get better. Her competitiveness and will to win – I'm the same, I'm super competitive, so it's why we got along so well, it was quite easy."

Daniel isn't the only Webster involved in top-flight footy, with sister Jess a noted commentator for women's and men's footy across broadcast and radio.

Jess will join Joel Peterson – husband of Carlton skipper Kerryn – as a broadcaster commentating a family member.

"We talk footy, I'm not going to lie. We both love the game and enjoy talking about it. So look forward to more conversations now I'm moving down to Melbourne," Webster said.

"Hopefully (she'll commentate Hawthorn games) very well. She's very professional at what she does, and very good at what she does, so she'll handle that no dramas."