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Bulldogs, VU create AFL first partnership

December 20, 2017 4:15 PM

Members of the Western Bulldogs High Performance Team pictured at Victoria University Whitten Oval: [L-R] Senior Strength Coach Andy Barnett, Physical Performance Manager Dr Mat Inness, Sports Scientist Dr Alice Sweeting, Physical Performance Coach Calvin Philip, GPS Analyst Dave Corbett, Dietitian Claire Saundry. Photo: Liz Vagg. - Western Bulldogs

Members of the Western Bulldogs High Performance Team pictured at Victoria University Whitten Oval: [L-R] Senior Strength Coach Andy Barnett, Physical Performance Manager Dr Mat Inness, Sports Scientist Dr Alice Sweeting, Physical Performance Coach Calvin Philip, GPS Analyst Dave Corbett, Dietitian Claire Saundry. Photo: Liz Vagg.

The Western Bulldogs and Victoria University have today announced an AFL first, with VU becoming the branded partner for the Bulldogs’ High Performance team. 

Led by VU alumni and Bulldogs’ Physical Performance Manager Dr Mathew Inness, the Club’s High Performance team contains many who have graduated from the University, or are currently studying. 

As of 2017, the team added two PhD graduates, with Dr Inness and Dr Alice Sweeting submitting doctoratal theses examining the effect of altitude training on performance and exploring data mining techniques to analyse team-sport athlete match activity, respectively.

Dr Inness and his team are responsible for the overall physical performance of the players, which is achieved through nutrition, load monitoring and strength and conditioning training.

Dr Sweeting is a Research Fellow (Sport Science) with VU and the Bulldogs. Along with Associate Professor Sam Robertson, the High Performance team is further supported by a number of PhD, Honours and undergraduate students through the partnership with VU.

“I am incredibly proud that the strong connection between Victoria University and the Western Bulldogs will be reinforced through this AFL first,” said Victoria University Vice Chancellor and President Professor Peter Dawkins (AO).

“Over the years, VU sports scientists and students have helped the Western Bulldogs hone their performance and supported the high performance team’s activities, and to have them formally identified on match day is a great acknowledgement of VU’s contribution to the Club. 

“I am particularly proud that the team will be led by Dr Inness, who was awarded his PhD in 2017 and exemplifies the amazing pathways this partnership presents for our students.”

In October this year, the Bulldogs and VU announced a five-year extension to their partnership.

“VU have been a long-term partner of the Club and as leaders in Sport Science, not just in Australia but globally, it made complete sense that VU became the partner of our Hgh Performance team,” said Bulldogs’ Director of Football, Chris Grant.

“With so many VU alumni and students working at our football club, it’s great to be able to showcase this link with a partnership such as this.”

The announcement caps off a strong commercial year for the Club, with other significant announcements made during 2017 including the expansion of AFLW partner Bob Jane T-Marts to platinum partner of the men’s team, the renewal of Cape Grim, and the addition of Mercedes-Benz Vans to its portfolio of partners.