L-R: Patrice Berthold, Malcolm Bangs, Ben Friggi, Tam Hyett, Matt Skubis, Peter Mercoulia, Georgia Stewart, Toby McLean.

The Western Bulldogs have bolstered their AFLW coaching panel for season 2024, appointing AFL premiership player Toby McLean and former Casey VFLW assistant Ben Friggi to key roles.

McLean, who played 102 games in the red, white and blue across nine seasons, returns to the Kennel as midfield coach, while Friggi will take charge of the forwards. Matt Skubis will continue to serve as backline coach for a second consecutive year.

The Bulldogs, led by head coach Tam Hyett, have also appointed Peter Mercoulia, former Melbourne AFLW assistant and Casey VFLW senior coach, and Malcolm Bangs, former national Judo training partner, as specialist coaches.

Connections with the men’s program have also been strengthened, with current AFL assistant coach Brendon Lade assuming the role of Director of Coaching while current player Rory Lobb will also assist in a mentoring role.

“We’re extremely pleased with the calibre of people we’ve been able to bring into our program this season, particularly in the coaching space,” Patrice Berthold, General Manager Women’s Football, said.

L-R: Ben Friggi, Tam Hyett, Matt Skubis, Toby McLean.

“Both Toby and Ben have hit the ground running with their respective line groups, while we’re excited to see the team’s improvements from a strategy, contest and tackling perspective via Peter and Malcolm.

“We are confident all of these appointments will complement both Tam and Matt, while helping continue to develop our playing group as we strive for success in 2024 and beyond.”

Confirmation of the coaching line-up comes off the back of recent football department appointments, including Berthold as General Manager of the program, Georgia Stewart as Player Welfare Manager and Dan Fisher as List and Recruiting Manager. 

2024 AFLW Western Bulldogs coaching panel

Head coach: Tam Hyett
Director of Coaching: Brendon Lade
Forwards coach: Ben Friggi
Backline coach: Matt Skubis
Midfield coach: Toby McLean
Specialist coach: Peter Mercoulia
Specialist coach: Malcolm Bangs
Mentor: Rory Lobb

2024 AFLW Western Bulldogs football department

Executive Director of Football: Chris Grant
General Manager Women’s Football: Patrice Berthold
Player Welfare Manager: Georgia Stewart
List and Recruiting Manager: Dan Fisher