The pull of a talented forward line and teaming up with former coach Luke Beveridge was an offer too good to refuse for new Bulldogs assistant coach Matt Spangher upon landing at VU Whitten Oval.
A Premiership hero for the Hawks in 2014, Spangher arrives at the Bulldogs with a comprehensive football CV including games at Sydney, West Coast and Hawthorn, before taking on an operations role at Collingwood.
Within his 11-year AFL career, success has followed the 34-year-old. All three clubs claimed premierships while Spangher sat on their list, culminating in premiership glory at Hawthorn. Ironically, Beveridge was right beside him.
“I was lucky enough to have ‘Bevo’ as a line coach whilst I was playing at Hawthorn, we had a really great relationship,” Spangher said.
“It was a lot of his ethos that shone through me and my now existing philosophies in footy. I’ll relish the opportunity to work with him again, loved it then, no different now.
“Pretty humbled to get the opportunity to work with him and everyone else at the Club.”
Spangher arrives at the Kennel in control of a potent forward line combination, seeing a mix of youth and experience lead the way in the front half of the ground.
“I am really looking forward to it – it’s an exciting young group,” he said.
“It’s certainly what drew me to the role initially, but a great platform to go from last year. I know losing the grand final was a disappointment but still a tremendous achievement for a young group.
“There are a couple of players still to come back from WA and looking forward to working with all of them.”
The welcome mat has been rolled out for Spangher, lauding the approach of all staff and players in his early days at the Club.
“Fundamentally it’s an exciting time to be here,” he said.
“I’ve admired the way the Bulldogs play footy and their ball movement. It’s a fast and exciting brand and being in the system for a while now, you admire the way certain clubs go about it.
“It is very rare that you come to a group on the verge of success over a sustained period when they are so young with some great young leaders.
“The group has been really welcoming. Footy clubs are great across the board for that sort of stuff but it never ceases to amaze me.
“The reputation the Bulldogs have for that is certainly true from my point of view.”
Spangher joins Marc Webb as the new assistant coaches at the Bulldogs, bringing fresh ideas to a strong culture and system built over the past seven years.
“Luckily enough I have been in a few AFL systems across the journey and you pick up little ideas and you’ve got your own philosophies,” he said.
“If you can get everyone to understand that they are a cog in a bigger machine and allow them to flourish and enjoy their footy then we are on the right track.
“To have two new guys certainly coming in it brings new ideas and I have never seen that be a bad thing at a footy club.“