Western Bulldogs President Kylie Watson-Wheeler has penned the following letter to the Club's members and fans today, to provide a football department update.
To our Bulldogs members and fans,
At the conclusion of the AFL men’s season, the Club spoke of our ongoing process to identify improvements to the AFL program to underpin our future success. We started a process during the latter stages of the 2023 season and ramped up the day after our season’s conclusion.
Through the process, and some organic shifts that can be expected at the end of a season, several changes have been made to our AFL program to strengthen our football department, as shared in recent weeks.
Key people we have welcomed to the Club recently include Matt Egan (Coaching & Performance Manager), Daniel Pratt (Backline & Defensive Systems coach), Jarryn Geary (Development & Player Leadership coach), Alex Johnson (Development Coach), Daniel Duvnjak-Zaknich (Head of Physical Performance) and Dr Anthony Hipsley (Chief Medical Officer).
This comes on top of the on-field changes that saw the Club welcome players James Harmes and Nick Coffield during the AFL Trade Period, in addition to securing a top five pick in the upcoming National Draft, a selection that will headline the Club’s acquisition of another talented group of young players that should include father-son prospect Jordan Croft.
With the significance and depth of these changes, combined with the exciting new football facilities arising from the transformational redevelopment of Whitten Oval, we now need to ensure these changes seamlessly translate into the operation of the most effective, integrated and high-performing AFL men’s program possible for our 2024 season.
With that mission in mind, Club CEO Ameet Bains will be undertaking an additional process of reviewing various aspects of the administration, operation and integration of the AFL men’s program, the program’s overarching environment and how the Club best maximises the opportunities of on-field success. This is an important step that will benefit the AFL men’s program, our players and our staff.
To gain additional perspective, the Club has engaged experienced football administrator Peter Jackson to assist with this further process.
Peter has extensive leadership and high-performance expertise built on his 30 years working across a range of senior executive, Board and management consulting roles, including two successful decades in the AFL industry as CEO of both the Essendon and Melbourne Football Clubs, as well as serving as Chairman of AFL Victoria.
Peter will provide his advice to Club leadership outlining his perspective on our men’s program and any recommendations he has for enhancing our AFL team’s future success, which we will consider, and share relevant details of in due course.
We look forward to our football staff and players returning to the Club for pre-season training in the coming weeks, as we prepare for the 2024 season.
Western Bulldogs President