The Western Bulldogs have rewarded Chris Maple for his part in their AFL premiership with a new role in a revamped coaching structure.
The Ballarat export has been promoted to coaching performance manager – second only to head coach Luke Beveridge.
He will provide direct assistance to Beveridge, while also overseeing the development of the club’s assistant coaches.
Maple, who lives in Ballarat, will also manage performance analysis and player welfare in the newly created position.
Has had been head of development since late 2014 and this year was Beveridge’s match day voice on the bench.
The coaching structure has been reshaped after the departure of senior assistant Brett Montgomery.
Football general manager Graham Lowe said the new coaching structure reflected the excellent rate of development of the group under Beveridge, while providing an elite learning environment for all Western Bulldogs and Footscray VFL players.
“We’re confident this structure will deliver great development and growth opportunities to our coaches, while continuing to provide an environment where all our players can reach their potential.”
“We value all areas of coaching equally, and look forward to the ongoing, outstanding and even contribution from this talented group of coaches.”
“Stability is a key component of a high performing department, and to have our coaches commit to long term contracts is an excellent result for our club,” Lowe said.
The promotion continues Maple’s rise through coaching ranks since he spent two years as playing coach of Tatyoon in the Mininera District Football League in 1999-2000.
Originally from Ararat and a school teacher by profession, he then coached Buninyong in the Central Highlands league in 2001-2003 – taking the Bombers to a premiership in 2002.
He was an assistant coach with North Ballarat Rebels in the TAC Cup in 2005-06, head coach in 2007-08, and TAC Cup coach of the year in 2007.
Maple joined the Western Bulldogs as development coach in 2009-2010, and became development manager in 2011. He coached Footscray in the VFL in 2014.