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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kempton

Bell still to be involved in on-field direction at Dockers

The Dockers yesterday announced a reshuffle of their executive team on the back of a review into the club’s AFL and AFLW programs, with Bell taking on a newly-created position as executive general manager of Football Talent, Strategy and Special

Projects and Brierty, the club’s current chief operating officer, assuming his position as executive general manager of Football.

Incoming Fremantle football boss Joe Brierty says Peter Bell will remain involved with the club’s on-field program despite his move into a business-oriented role.

Brierty told Sports Breakfast the pair would work in tandem.

“It’s something that Peter and [CEO Simon Garlick] have been discussing, the opportunity to broaden the horizons outside of footy,” Brierty said.

“A portion of his role will look at commercial aspects of our business and then the strategic projects, there’s some significant infrastructure coming into our organisation in the future.

“My role from a football perspective will be to work really closely with Peter, looking at our talent acquisition and retention and strategy.”

Fremantle’s football department has been under the microscope due to a recent string of player departures, with star small forward Lachie Schultz and NGA product Liam Henry heading for the exit door in this year’s trade period after Blake Acres, Rory Lobb, Griffin Logue, and Lloyd Meek all left at the end of last season.

Brierty said the turnover was a reflection of the state of the industry rather than any issues within the club.

“We’ve got players coming out of free agency, there’s a desire for players to play in their home states and move home for personal circumstances at certain times,” he said.

“There’s then your own strategy within your own club in terms of what your needs may be and sometimes player departures are a club decision as well.

“The dial at the moment is focusing on the last two years. We would sit somewhere in the middle of the competition in terms of player turnover in that [timeframe].

“We’re really passionate and excited about the culture that we’re setting up. Player-led group, we’re really young, and we’re really looking forward to what the years look like moving forward and really confident in the players that we have on our list.”

Brierty said the club’s ambitious five-year plan, which stated their aim to win their maiden AFL premiership by 2025, was still on track despite a slide from fifth and a final win in 2022 to 14th in 2023.

“We’ll never apologise for setting high expectations for our members and fans as a club,” he said.

“I won’t be setting a ceiling on what my expectations are on our people … we want to make sure they’re motivated to perform on-field and win games of footy, that’s the business we’re in.”

“My focus is on this preseason and making sure we can set ourselves up for success on-field next season and then we’ll continue to build on that. It’s not about a two-year window, for us it’s about a period of sustained success and making sure we can challenge for a long time.”

IMAGE: Zero Hanger


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