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Western Bulldogs Football Department Personnel

Chris Grant - Director of Football

Chris Grant was appointed Director of Football in June of the 2016 season.

The appointment of Grant to the role recognised the rapid growth of the Club’s football department, which includes Women’s football, Next Generation Academies and the expansion of the Club’s VU partnership.

A former Club Captain, Grant  has served as non-executive football director for over four years prior to accepting this new role, and has accumulated valuable management experience through involvement in retail operations, commercial property development and more recently in senior operations management roles with the Spotless Group.

Grant played 341 AFL games for the Club between 1990 and 2007, and is a two-time Charles Sutton medallist, three time All-Australian, former Club captain (2000-2004) and Footrscay-Western Bulldogs Hall of Fame and AFL Hall of Fame inductee.

Simon Dalrymple - Recruiting

Simon Dalrymple spent three years as Assistant Coach at the Eastern Ranges Football Club in the TAC Cup Under 18 competition, before coaching the Marcellin Old Collegians Football Club to the ‘A’ grade Premiership in 2001 and semi final in 2002.

He has since had extensive experience in player development and recruiting, spending five years with the Northern Knights as Development Manager.

In 2007 Simon joined the Western Bulldogs as Development Coach and is now the Recruiting Manager.

Mat Inness - Physical Performance

Joining the football club in 2014 as the VFL High Performance Manager, Mat Inness was elevated into the role of Strength & Conditioning Coach to the AFL side in 2015, before being promoted into the Physical Performance Manager role for the commencement of the 2016 preseason campaign.

With nearly 20 years of experience in elite sport in a variety of roles, Inness brings perspectives from a broad range of roles including as a High Performance Coach/Manager, a professional athlete, skills coach, and as a sport scientist, in a number of different professional sporting organisations.
A PhD candidate, Inness has demonstrated an ability to be a thought leader in his field, presenting at international conferences on Applied Physiology and Strength and Conditioning, as well as having research papers published in high-ranking scientific journals.

Prior to arriving at the Kennel, Inness had held similar roles at the Western Australian Institute of Sport, Western Australian Warriors cricket team, and Williamstown Football Club.

A former first-class cricketer, Inness played 81 matches for Victoria, Western Australia and North Hampshire, collecting 281 wickets (ave. 25.77) as a left-arm fast-medium bowler.

Inness overseas the day-to-day physical preparaton of the AFL playing group.

Ben Graham - Football Operations

Former Geelong captain and NFL punter Ben Graham was appointed Football Operations Manager at the Western Bulldogs ahead of the 2013 season. 

Graham will undertake the newly created position, working closely with General Manager, Football Graham Lowe to oversee the overall football department. 

The multi-faceted role looks at the strategic direction of the Bulldogs football department ahead of 2020 and will play a major hand in setting up the stand alone VFL team set for 2014.

With experience within the AFL system as well as on an international scale through the NFL, Graham is a quality acquisition for the Club.

Andy Barnett - Snr Strength Coach

Coming with extensive international credentials, Andy Barnett was appointed to the position of Strength Coach in September 2012, and has been elevated into the role of Senior Strength and Conditioning Coach at the commencement of the 2015 pre-season.

With a resume that boasts 25 years experience in developing and executing speed, strength and conditioning programs worldwide, Barnett is a cornerstone of the Club’s high performance team.

Barnett has worked with a number of international sporting organizations including the NFL’s New York Giants and New Zealand and Canadian Olympic Training Centres where he helped produce 24 Olympic and World Championship Gold Medallists.

Chris Bell - Head AFL Physiotherapy

Chris Bell joined the Club at the start of the 2014 season as Head Physiotherapist after seven years at the St Kilda Football Club.

Bell holds as Master of Sports Physiotherapy and has previously worked at Prahran Sports Medicine Centre, New Zealand Knights Soccer Club and the Bendigo Bombers.

Bell has also lectured at the Australian Physiotherapy Association and tutored for the Sports Physiotherapy Master’s Program at La Trobe University