Patrice Berthold has been named the new GM of Women's Football at Western Bulldogs. Picture: via

THE WESTERN Bulldogs have looked outside of football circles for their new general manager of women's football, appointing experienced sports administrator and former state cricketer Patrice Berthold to the role.

Berthold – who has represented Western Australia – has led Cricket Australia's operations team, working across both men's and women's sides, as well as executing the role of general manager of operations for the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia.

She was most recently executive director of service delivery for the Victorian Commonwealth Games team, the event for which the state government recently withdrew its hosting rights.

The Western Bulldogs recently reinstated the role of head of women's footy after a club-wide review. Debbie Lee previously held the role up until she moved to the AFL in 2022, after which the women's department fell under the remit of director of footy Chris Grant.

"I'm thrilled that Patrice will be bringing her proven leadership in elite sporting environments, strategic nous and operational excellence to this crucial role," Grant said.

"Her appointment is testament to the investment our club is making in women's football and I look forward to working with her to shape and implement a vision for sustained success."

Berthold is the second major women's football appointment the Dogs have made in recent weeks, after signing Tam Hyett as the club's new coach.


"I'm super excited to join the Western Bulldogs in what is an amazing time for the club, women's football and women's sport as a collective," Berthold said.

"It's an incredible opportunity to come into the AFLW program at a time of reset and rebuild, and I am extremely confident with the group of players and staff we have.

"With support and backing from the top too, we can establish some really strong foundations in 2024 to set us up for long-term success both on and off the field."

Berthold has a major task ahead of her to rebuild the Western Bulldogs, who were a driver in women's football prior to the introduction of the AFLW, and won the flag in 2018, but slumped to a wooden spoon last season. 

The Dogs have experienced significant turnover in the past few years, most notably last season when a number of senior players requested moves out of the club in a non-expansion trade period.

Injuries – particularly over pre-season – have had a major impact in recent years, with players unable to build the training and running loads required, while now former coach Nathan Burke publicly criticised the professionalism of players last year.