Meet our new Academy coaches

Tjindu Foundation Academy coach Shaun Baker.

For 2023, the Tjindu Foundation introduced a new structure to its Aboriginal AFL Academy program.

As part of this new-look Academy, two new coaches were appointed to take the reins and steer our talented footballers’ on-field achievements.

We’re excited to welcome Shaun Baker as the head coach of the Academy.

Shaun’s been involved in footy as a player and coach for years, but he also brings the benefits of his years of high performance knowledge to help develop the fitness profile of our students and educate them on important healthy lifestyle choices. He’s the founder and head strength and conditioning coach of PEAQ – Adelaide’s premier high-performance facility – and has worked with elite sporting organisations like Australia’s national lacrosse team, Adelaide 36ers and the Adelaide Lightning, the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy, plus the Adelaide Crows’ AFLW team and Port Adelaide in the SANFL.

“There are so many things to look forward to every Wednesday when I get to come and work with the Tjindu crew, however if I had to nail it down to just one thing, it would have to be the ENERGY of this amazing cohort of students,” Baker says.

“I really feed off the enthusiasm and fun nature that they bring to the table. The more energy that they bring, I feel the more energy that I bring!

“I hope to really provide a healthy and positive introduction to strength and fitness training for our students. Often S&C can be considered scary or boring. I want to show them that you can make it purposeful, engaging and enjoyable. I would love to see the work that we do with these students in 2023, set the foundations and behaviours around fitness that they can implement for life.”

Lindsay Thomas.

Shaun will be joined by Lindsay Thomas, who is the Tjindu Foundation’s new assistant coach. Lindsay will be no stranger to keen AFL fans: he’s a 200-gamer with a successful career at North Melbourne and Port Adelaide who has played in the Adelaide Footy League since his retirement from the professional league. Lindsay is a Wirangu and Kokatha man from Port Lincoln, who played for Mallee Park before joining Port Adelaide as an SANFL junior and being drafted to the Roos in 2006.

“We’re very excited to have Shaun and Lindsay leading our teams this year,” says Tjindu Foundation general manager Kellie Graves.

“We’ve already seen some great results with our teams this year, and are looking forward to more with our coaching panel and returning mentors to the program.”

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