REVEALED: The young staffer dating AFL supercoach Damien Hardwick after footy's quarantine hub was blamed for marriage break-up which sent shockwaves through tight-knit Richmond club
AFL premiership-winning coach Damien Hardwick's new lover has been revealed as his club's own sales representative, Alexandra Crow.
Ms Crow had been spotted with Hardwick in the lead-up to Christmas, drinking openly with him at a busy Melbourne rooftop pub.
One witness told Daily Mail Australia the pair did not appear to be having a good time.
'They seemed stressed. Unhappy. But we instantly noticed it was Hardwick with someone who wasn't his wife,' the source said.
By then, footy-mad Melbourne 'detectives' were wildly detailing Hardwick's bust-up online.
Ms Crow notably dumped all of her social media pages as news of the scandal became public late last year.
Hardwick's relationship with the young Richmond staffer allegedly developed while the pair were caged inside the Queensland hub.
The hub, introduced so the competition could continue during the pandemic, has been blamed for putting pressure on families.
Daily Mail Australia has been told the Richmond coach began the taboo relationship with Ms Crow - known widely as Alex - during the Tigers' time in the hub while still married to wife Danielle.
Hardwick - a three-time premiership coach with the Tigers - allegedly split with his wife last month.
By then rumours of the split had already been swirling for weeks on BigFooty.com, which has become a huge breaker of footy scandals.
Melbourne newspaper the Herald Sun rolled out the scandal on Monday afternoon, claiming 'the relationship has rocked staff within the club and could affect the playing group'.
Danielle Hardwick - the mother of Hardwick's three kids - is much-loved in Tigers circles and has previously been credited with helping the side's premiership success.
She and their two daughters spent Christmas with the family of Tigers captain Trent Cotchin.
Cotchin’s wife Brooke posted a picture of the Hardwick girls and called them 'second fam' on social media.
Their split came just days after Collingwood Magpies coach Nathan Buckley confirmed he and wife Tania had split early last year.
Geelong Cats star Gary Rohan and wife Amie also split last year, as did former North Melbourne star Majak Daw and partner Emily McKay, along with Cats champion Jimmy Bartel and his glamourous former wife Nadia.
In 2019, Hardwick revealed how he was convinced by his wife to select Marlion Pickett to make his AFL debut in the 2019 grand final.
Pickett has since become an integral part of the Tigers line-up with 19 games this season, including a second victorious grand final.
'I must admit, she was pushing Marlion harder than anyone,' Hardwick told Channel Nine's AFL Footy Show the day after Pickett's memorable debut in 2019.
'She goes, "You've just got to play him, he's too good".
'She's been a terrific supporter of mine and behind every man is a great woman and I'm very fortunate.'
In 2018, Hardwick confessed in a pre-match interview with Triple M that he had a few sleepless nights following his side's loss in Perth.
'It comes from the Mrs Hardwick, no win, no love,' he quipped.
'I'm a bit flat, boys!'
Earlier this season Hardwick confessed in a press conference he was told off by his wife in the wake of his 'out of line' complaints about the Sydney Swans' defensive tactics.
'It was a shocker on my behalf,' Hardwick said.
'It was out of line. I was probably frustrated and let the situation get the better of me.
'I called up 'Horse' (Swans coach John Longmire) and apologised. It was out of line on my behalf, so we had a good conversation and we moved on pretty quickly. I'll just worry about what I can control and continue to do that.
'(Mrs Hardwick) wasn't overly happy with the press conference. She gave me a dressing down after it. That was a good result.'
When the Herald Sun contacted the club, the Tigers stated they were aware Hardwick was currently in a relationship with a member of the administration staff.
'The Club has no concerns with this under Club policy. Beyond this, it is a private matter and we ask that privacy be respected,' they stated.
Hardwick has been granted leave until February.
'I’m going to take a bit of a longer break this year over summer,' Hardwick told radio station 3AW in October.
'It’s been a pretty full-on three-four years and we’ve done a hell of a lot of work and had a lot of success along the way but sometimes you need to step back.
'I’m very lucky that I’ve got some terrific assistants, and a couple of those guys will move on, but the coaching group and the people I have around me do a large amount of work and the reality is I sit at the top and manage those guys.'