Matthew Egan will move from Geelong to the Western Bulldogs. Picture: Screenshot

THE WESTERN Bulldogs have poached Geelong's head of development Matt Egan to join its coaching panel ahead of the pre-season.

The 40-year-old will join the club as coaching and performance manager, overseeing the development and growth of the coaching department, working closely with senior coach Luke Beveridge.

After months of work behind the scenes by head of football Chris Grant and CEO Ameet Bains to rejig the football department at the Whitten Oval, the club has now signed Egan and Daniel Pratt as backline coach this week. 

Egan has spent more than a decade in a variety of coaching roles since his AFL career was brought to a cruel end due to the foot injury he suffered at the end of the 2007 home and away season, just before he was named All-Australian.

The former Geelong key defender was eventually forced to retire in 2010 due to the navicular bone fracture, missing out on a golden era at the club under Mark Thompson and then Chris Scott. 

Matthew Egan in action during the R19 match between Geelong and Adelaide in 2007. Picture: AFL Photos

Egan spent time coaching under James Hird at Essendon and coached the final game of the 2015 season when the Bombers legend departed, before joining Simon Goodwin's coaching panel as Melbourne's head of development.

He returned to Kardinia Park at the end of 2021 to lead the Cats' development program.

After missing out to Melbourne on Andrew McQualter and following Justin Leppitsch's decision to stay at Collingwood, the Western Bulldogs have now added two experienced football figures.

Pratt will replace club great Rohan Smith as the assistant coach in charge of the Bulldogs' backline.

Daniel Pratt leads a West Coast AFLW pre-season training session in November, 2020. Picture: AFL Photos

The former North Melbourne and Brisbane Lions defender spent 10 years working under former teammate Adam Simpson at West Coast. 

Pratt initially joined as a development coach but worked his way up to senior assistant, leading the Eagles' backline in the 2018 premiership season, as well as coaching the AFLW program and WAFL side during his time in Perth. 

Brendon Lade will continue to coach the midfield in 2024 and Matt Spangher will be in charge of the forward line. 


The club has been making changes following a disappointing season that led to the departure of Smith and development coach Travis Varcoe, while assistant coach Marc Webb chose to return to Western Australia for family reasons. 

The Western Bulldogs are currently working through a short list of applicants to fill the high performance manager vacancy after long-time fitness boss Mat Inness was poached by West Coast at the end of the season.