NEW FOOTBALL boss Joe Brierty will have oversight of Fremantle's crucial list management portfolio after the Dockers announced off-field changes on Monday that saw Peter Bell move to a new role on the club's executive.
Brierty, who has been a long-time off-field leader at Fremantle and was most recently chief operating officer, has replaced Bell as executive general manager of football following a two-month review of the club's AFL and AFLW programs.
The change comes at a crucial time for the Dockers, who have battled player retention issues in recent seasons and are aiming to bounce back from a 14th-place finish in 2023 without departed pair Lachie Schultz and Liam Henry.
Under the changes, Bell has taken up the new role of executive general manager of football talent, strategy and special projects.
David Walls will remain the club's head of player personnel and will report to Bell, whose responsibilities will include a "strategic focus on talent identification and acquisition of football personnel" across both AFL and the expanding AFLW player pool.
Brierty, who said he was excited to return to football operations in a key role, will then have the ultimate oversight and responsibility for list management under his broad football portfolio, which also includes coaching, high performance, medical, wellbeing, innovation, leadership and culture.
Chief executive Simon Garlick said the club hoped the changes would "help improve outcomes" and enable a more strategic focus on identifying and acquiring talent, both on and off the field.
"Peter has given his all overseeing our football operations for AFL and AFLW for the past five years," Garlick said.
"Every year we continue to review all aspects of the business and identify areas where we can elevate and grow as a club.
"Working with Joe and Peter following a standard review of all facets of our football programs, we identified an opportunity to introduce a new role to ensure we have a strong strategic focus on talent identification and acquisition of football personnel across both our men's and women's programs."
Brierty first joined Fremantle's football operations team in 2010 and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2021, with Garlick declaring he had all the attributes to "lead our football department to contend over an extended period and deliver the ultimate success".
Brierty said he had enjoyed extending himself outside of the football department and felt he could bring a new perspective to the Dockers' vision to be a "brave, strong and successful" club.
"I’m looking forward to working with Justin, Peter and the football management group to ensure we keep building an environment that enables our players and staff to deliver on their potential and achieve the long-term success that our club deserves," he said.
Bell, who has previously been linked to chief executive vacancies at rival cubs, said his move was the result of ongoing conversations with Garlick about how he could continue building his expertise across the business.
"While the majority of my time will remain dedicated towards football talent and personnel identification and acquisition, the opportunity to have responsibilities outside my core football remit excites me," he said.