Dogs coach inks contract extension after improved season

WESTERN Bulldogs AFLW coach Nathan Burke has signed a two-year contract extension, tying him to the club until the end of the 2023 season.

The Dogs were a vastly improved side this year, bouncing back from a one-win season in Burke's first year to finish eighth of 14 teams, with five out of nine wins.

Burke made a bold statement at the club's season launch, declaring the Bulldogs were aiming for two AFLW flags by 2025.

"I've signed quite a few contracts in my time as a player, but I don't think I've ever been as excited as I was signing this one," Burke said.

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"Debbie Lee and I started on a journey together two years ago, so to be able to continue that with Deb and the players is wonderful. 

"I've loved every moment so far – going to training is a highlight of my week."

A St Kilda legend, the 51-year-old was involved with the Saints VFLW team and coached Vic Metro before taking the step to AFLW level.

He coached against daughter and Saint Alice in round one this year.

Saints debutant Alice Burke with her father, Western Bulldogs coach Nathan, after the match. Picture: Michael Willson, AFL Photos

The club's head of women's football Debbie Lee said Burke had made an immediate impact in his first two years at the club.

"We are thrilled to have Nathan continue as senior coach of our AFLW program," Lee said. 

"He has a great connection with our playing group, and combined with his simple and adaptable game plan, has resulted in significant improvement this season.

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"We are excited that Nathan has signed on for a further two years, as this will enable us to further build on our foundations and ensure we continue to be competitive in the AFLW competition."

There has been movement in the AFLW coaching ranks of late, with Gold Coast's David Lake and Geelong's Paul Hood resigning, while Melbourne's Mick Stinear has also signed a two-year deal.