Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Essendon club position for Campbell

Former Echuca footballer Xavier Campbell has been appointed the new chief operating officer at Essendon Football Club.

GEORDIE COWAN December 25, 2013 4:23am

Xavier Campbell playing for Echuca.

Echuca’s Xavier Campbell is the new chief operating officer at Essendon Football Club.

He will hold the top executive position after the club decided to not replace departing chief executive Ray Gunston in its revamped corporate structure.

The 34-year-old was promoted from his role of general manager of projects and partnerships having overseen significant growth of the club’s sponsorship and strategic partnerships in the past five years.

Essendon president Paul Little, fellow director Paul Brasher and Gunston will mentor Xavier in his new role, which starts on January 1.

‘‘Effectively I oversee all functions of the business,’’ Xavier said.

‘‘But I will work very closely with two internationally regarded businessmen in Paul Little and Paul Brasher.’’

Xavier retired last year after playing more than 100 games for the Murray Bombers as a defender.

He said while he had not targeted the chief operating officer role, it was a challenge he was eagerly anticipating after an up-and-down year for the Bombers.

‘‘I think you always aspire to have responsibility in your position,’’ Xavier said.

‘‘But we’ve got a really strong group of executives and senior management. They’re very supportive.

‘‘It is an exciting time for our club.

‘‘It’s been a tough year.

‘‘We have just moved into a new facility at Melbourne Airport.

‘‘We’ve got a good playing group and we’ve got great staff across our football and administration areas.’’

Xavier’s parents Ian and Jeanine, who still live and work in Echuca, said they were ‘‘extremely proud’’ of their son’s new position.

‘‘Jeanine and I are very proud,’’ Ian said.

‘‘He has put a lot of effort into his work and they are believing in him.

‘‘Like any parents, you’re just pleased to see them succeeding and climbing the ladder.’’

Ian said Xavier had always called Echuca home, which was why he came back to play after stints with Sturt and Strathmore.

‘‘I stay close with a lot of people in Echuca,’’ Xavier said.

It is an exciting time for the Campbell family, with the announcement of Xavier’s new role on Friday coinciding with the expected arrival of a baby with partner Clare on Sunday.

His brother Jamus, who moved to Melbourne this year also received a rookie of the year award at new workplace CBRE and is due to be married on January 25.

‘‘We have just been sitting and waiting in anticipation of the birth and the marriage,’’ Ian said.

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