Western Bulldogs players look dejected after a loss during round 23, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images

THE WESTERN Bulldogs have promoted Matt Egan to the new role of general manager of football operations after a review by former Essendon and Melbourne CEO Peter Jackson.

Egan, who joined the club in October as coaching and performance manager, will now take charge of the Dogs' men's football program, including coaching, fitness, player welfare and football operations.

The club will also appoint a general manager of women's football in the wake of an AFLW campaign that reaped just one win and prompted the departure of coach Nathan Burke.

Bulldogs champion Chris Grant will remain the head of the club's football department and oversee both the men's and women's programs.

The review also identified the need for improvement in four key areas: football department structure, culture and environment, coaching roles and responsibilities, and development and education.

As part of an off-season overhaul, Egan, 40, arrived at the Dogs with 14 years of coaching experience at Geelong, Essendon and Melbourne in various roles.

Matt Egan during his time as Geelong's head of development. Picture: Supplied

He told AFL.com.au in November that he was looking forward to shifting into football management, rather than hands-on coaching.

"Next year is my 15th year coaching in the AFL and I've done a fair few different roles – development, assistant, VFL coach, head of development – I just feel like this is the right time to challenge myself in a more management style role," Egan said.

The Bulldogs instigated the review in the off-season after their AFL team failed to make the finals, despite still boasting the majority of the squad that lost the 2021 Grand Final to Melbourne.


Club president Kylie Watson-Wheeler said Jackson's review largely affirmed the Bulldogs' direction. 

"Ultimately, the review highlighted that we have what we need to set us up for success, but it’s a matter of having things in the right place and leveraged in the most effective way," Watson-Wheeler said in a letter to members on Friday.

She said there would be clearer roles and responsibilities for the members of Luke Beveridge's coaching team as part of the improvements ahead of 2024.

Beveridge, who famously coached the Bulldogs to a stunning, drought-breaking premiership in 2016, is contracted until the end of 2025. He will have led the Dogs for 11 seasons by that point. 

The club would also focus on player and staff development and education, and improve collaboration across the football department and broader club.