Collingwood football boss Wright to take six-month sabbatical next year

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Collingwood football general manager Graham Wright will take a sabbatical during next football season but will return in time for the finals.

The Magpies football boss has been a key player in assembling the club’s latest premiership side, but he said on Friday he and his wife had planned to do a similar trip when he ended his long stint as Hawthorn’s football director. Instead, he took on the Collingwood role and kept working.

Wright, 55, said he would rather take the chance to enjoy an overseas break at this age than wait until he is 65 while he also backed the club’s other executives and football staff to cover him in his absence.

Wright said he didn’t feel “burnt out” and would remain in his role until March next year with the first stop of his trip will be New York and is booked to fly home in the first week of September.

“I want to. I’m 55 and my wife is turning 50 – we’ve talked about this for a long, long time and we are in a position to do it.

“It makes it easier to do it after winning a premiership but we were thinking about it either way.”

Time out in 2024: Collingwood football and boss Graham Wright.Credit: Getty Images

The Magpies will announce how they will cover Wright’s duties in the new year but he heads overseas with the support of chief executive Craig Kelly and president Jeff Browne.

“Graham has been an instrumental part of our club over the last few years and when he approached Jeff and I about wanting to take leave in 2024, we supported that,” Kelly said in a statement.

“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.

“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, it will allow others inside our club to gain experience, broaden their skill set and develop further.

“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.”

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