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Paul Groves appointed women's head coach

Paul Groves: Embrace the jumper BulldogsTV speaks with the Western Bulldogs' newly appointed Women's Coach Paul Groves about his plans for the team and marquee players Ellie Blackburn and Katie Brennan.

THE WESTERN Bulldogs have appointed elite women's coach Paul Groves to kick-start their women's team in the dual role of head coach and football manager.
 
Groves, who has enjoyed success in TAC Cup and youth girls’ football, started in the role on Monday and will take the helm for next Saturday's women's all star match at Victoria University Whitten Oval.
 
The 34-year-old played under Luke Beveridge at amateur club St Bedes/Mentone and said he was looking forward to reuniting with the Bulldogs coach in his new role.  
 
"To see how he went about it and the appreciation he had for people who were working their butts off to achieve something was a huge influence on the way I've approached my coaching," Groves told AFL.com.au.  
 
"I'm over the moon. It's something I've been working to and striving for."
 
Groves has been coach of Monash Blues in the Victorian Amateur Football Association for the past two seasons and has extensive experience in the TAC Cup over the past 10 years.
 
In 2013 he coached the Vic Metro youth girls team to a national championship, giving him a strong rapport with a number of the leading female players.  
 
"One of our marquee players, Ellie Blackburn, was one of my captains that year," he said.
 
"And a lot of these girls now running around in the VWFL I've coached directly, which is a great resource for me.
 
"Now it's about having conversations with them to see if they're going to nominate for the draft, and just checking in on how their form is and getting back on board with them."
 
Groves, who has been director of sport at Salesian College since 2010, has taken leave from his position to take on the full-time role at the Bulldogs.
 
His first task will be managing the appointment of his support staff and the make-up of the Bulldogs' inaugural women's team.  
 
"The list management side of it is probably the priority to start with and then the coaching flows in after that," he said.  
 
"Part of the job as footy manager is working out our budgeting and being able to appoint our club staff, from assistant coaches through to medical staff, physios and strength and conditioning staff.
 
"There's a lot to get through and many chats to have in the next little while. I really want to embrace the western suburbs people and look for some really good coaches around there to give them an opportunity."
 
Groves said Collingwood VFL coach Dale Tapping had also been an influence on his coaching. He worked under Tapping at TAC Cup club Sandringham Dragons in 2010-11.    
 
Former Richmond and St Kilda player Justin Plapp, who is now coach of the Casey Scorpions in the VFL, has also been a mentor.
 
"Being an assistant to them has been a really positive influence," Groves said.