Nathan Burke has been appointed as the new Western Bulldogs AFLW senior coach.
In a major coup for the Bulldogs’ women’s football program, the former AFL great has signed on for the next two seasons.
He replaces Paul Groves, who was in the role for the inaugural three years of the AFLW competition.
Burke, 49, boasts a wealth of experience in the football and corporate world.
As a player, he represented St Kilda in 323 AFL matches and captained the Saints for five seasons. He was a four-time All Australian, three-time Club best and fairest and represented both Victoria and Australia.
Burke was St Kilda assistant coach for two years (2004-05) and a director from 2008 to 2015, and has run his own consulting firm since 2015 specialising in leadership, mentoring and coaching.
Over the past two seasons he has worked closely with Jamie Cox and Peta Searle in establishing the Southern Saints VFLW and St Kilda AFLW teams, while also acting as assistant coach.
He also coached Victoria Metro at the recent 2019 NAB AFLW Under-18 Championships.
“We are thrilled to have Nathan as our AFLW coach,” said Bulldogs’ General Manager of Women’s Football, Debbie Lee.
“There was significant interest in the position and a strong field of male and female applicants, and after undergoing an extensive process, we believe Nathan is the right person to lead our group moving forward.
“Nathan’s football credentials speak for themselves. He has been involved in the AFL system for more than three decades as a player, administrator and coach. His professional career specialising in leadership, and his involvement with both the VFLW competition and Under-18 women’s National programs, provides us with a great fit for our group.
“We look forward to Nathan building on the strong foundation he have laid to date, and further developing and improving our players as we strive for sustained team success in the AFLW competition.”
Burke said he was excited about the opportunity ahead.
“I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to coach the Western Bulldogs AFLW team for the next two seasons,” he said.
“I can't wait to work with the athletes and help them become the best footballers and people they can be.
“The Bulldog faithful loves their AFLW team and we will continue to do the red, white and blue proud.”