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Future GIANTS Get Taste of AFL

Three GIANTS Academy players have spent the past two weeks at the WestConnex Centre training alongside some of the AFL’s leading players.

5:12pm  Jan 22, 2018

Bright Start for GIANTS in AFLW Practice Match

The GIANTS have begun their final preparations for the 2018 NAB AFL Women’s competition in the best possible fashion with a comprehensive 50-point win over the Brisbane Lions in a practice match on Saturday morning.

1:31pm  Jan 20, 2018

Williams Sidelined with Achilles Injury

GIANTS defender Zac Williams has suffered a ruptured achilles that will see the 23-year old sidelined for an extended period of the 2018 season.

5:14pm  Jan 19, 2018

Player Profiles

Josh Kelly

Josh Kelly

Recruited from:
East Brighton (Vic)/Sandringham U18

David Joyce – Head of Athletic Performance

David leads the Athletic Performance Unit, which is charged with the responsibility of getting the players on the ground in as good a condition as is possible. He joined the club from the Western Force for the start of the 2015 pre-season and has worked in professional rugby both in Australia and in the UK, professional soccer (Blackburn Rovers and Galatasaray) and at two Olympic Games (2008 with Team Great Britain, and 2012 with Team China).

Andrew Bahnert – Senior Athletic Performance Specialist (Fitness and Conditioning)

Andrew is responsible for fitness and conditioning of the players. He ensures the physical load and recovery of players is accurately planned and managed for training and games. Andrew came to the GIANTS from the Adelaide Crows in 2012 with expertise in the use of GPS for physical load monitoring. He has published research assessing physical load and recovery patterns of players across an AFL season.

Lachlan Wilmot – Senior Athletic Performance Specialist (Strength and Power)

Lachie leads the design and delivery of our Strength and Power program at the club. He has been at the club since the very start and has seen the players develop from skinny kids into elite players capable of taking on the very best in the league. He is a highly sought-after international speaker and is considered to be one of the premier strength and power coaches in the country. 

Mick Byers – Athletic Performance Specialist (Strength and Rehabilitation)

Mick joined the GIANTS full time for the 2016 season, having been a trainee here in 2015. He has gained a lot of experience as both a teacher and a Strength and Conditioning background, where he has worked at Western Force, the Australian Rugby Union Academy and Cronulla Sharks. He is also completing his Masters in S&C. Mick’s day-to-day role sees him look after the strength and power development of the club’s 1st, 2nd and 3rd year players, as well as all injured players. 

James McBrien – Athletic Performance Specialist (Science and Analytics)

James “Cookie” McBrien is our athletic data specialist. He produces detailed reports on the work the players do in training and games and how it affects them. This is critical to ensure that we get the balance between work and recovery absolutely spot on. James previously worked with the GIANTS Academy as a Strength and Conditioning Coach before becoming a founding member of the GIANTS as they entered the AFL competition.

Dean Norris – PhD Scholar / Strength Scientist

Dean joined GWS as a FastTrack Trainee in 2015. He made such an impression that he was awarded the first ever PhD scholarship offered between the GIANTS and Western Sydney University. Dean’s major role at the club is in data analysis, providing great assistance to coaches in his ability to synthesize data into meaningful information. Dean completed an Exercise and Sports Science degree at ACU. He has completed a Masters of High Performance in Sport, also at ACU.

Patrick Dillon – PhD Scholar / Sports Scientist

Pat joined the APU for the 2017 season as our second WSU PhD scholar and sport scientist after spending the last 2 years at Carlton. He has a Bachelor of Commerce as well as a Bachelor of Sport Science with 1st class honours (1st class). His role within the APU is as a sports scientist and has match day roles with both our AFL and NEAFL sides, specifically with GPS monitoring.

Angus Bathgate – Chief Medical Officer

The GIANTS welcomed Dr. Bathgate on board as Chief Medical Officer in December 2015. Angus brings a wealth of experience having previously worked with the Australian Wallabies Rugby Union Team (20013-2015), ACT Brumbies Rugby Union (2009-13), Eastern Suburbs Rugby Union (1996-2009) and the Junior Wallabies (2002-2006). He is also concurrently the Team Doctor for the Australia Sevens Rugby Team. This has seen him attend to 2006 Commonwealth Games, and the 2016 Olympic Games. 

Dr Peter Parkes – Club Doctor

Peter joined the GIANTS APU in 2014. A GP with a Diploma in Sports Medicine, Peter brings a wealth of sporting experience to the GIANTS having provided his expertise to a number of teams over the years including; Western Sydney Wanderers (since their foundation year of 2012), the Canberra Raiders and St George's Dragons Junior Rugby League.

Dr Anthony Henderson – Club Doctor

Anthony joins the GIANTS this season after having moved to Sydney from Perth. Having originally trained as a physiotherapist, Anthony completed his medical degree in 2013. He is the match day doctor for the GIANTS’ AFLW side, and will assist Dr Bathgate and Dr Parkes with the men’s program where required.

Leroy Lobo – Senior Athletic Performance Physiotherapist

Leroy has been the senior physio at the club since day 1 and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the physiotherapy service. Known especially for his treatment skills, Leroy works closely with other APU staff to prevent injuries and rehabilitate players as quickly as possible. Leroy has previously worked in various sports both in Sydney and overseas, and has been at the GIANTS since its inception. He is the first person onto the field should there be an injury.

Luke Heath – Sports Physiotherapist & Rehabilitation Specialist:

In charge of rehabilitation and getting injured players back in the game as quickly & safely as possible, Luke Heath plays an integral role in ensuring the coaches have plenty of options at the selection table. Born and bred in Sydney, Luke has previously enjoyed successful stints as a sports physiotherapist at the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and the Australian Rugby Union, most recently with the ARU National Sevens Program before joining the GIANTS prior to the 2015 season.

Michael Lancaster – Athletic Performance Physiotherapist

Michael joined the GIANTS as APU physiotherapist this season from the Worcester Warriors in the English Rugby Union Premiership, where he was as Head of Medical Services. He has also spent many years working with the English National Rugby Union team. Mike has also had roles as a physio within Rugby League, UK Athletics and the Royal Ballet. He completed his Masters of Sports and Exercise Medicine in 2010.

Nalesh Murti – Athletic Performance Physiotherapist

Nalesh has been part of the GWS GIANTS Athletic Performance Unit as a full time physiotherapist since 2015. He has previously been part of the APU as an intern physio and also completing his Honors with the club in 2011, as part of the physiotherapy degree that he attained at the University of Sydney. This season he took the role as lead physio for the AFLW side and will continue his role as NEAFL physiotherapist.

Jess Cunningham - Sports Physiotherapist and Movement Specialist

Jess holds a unique role at the GWS GIANTS, using her background as a sports physiotherapist and gymnast to ensure the players' bodies are balanced with optimal alignment and that they have efficient movement patterns. When Jess isn’t working at the GIANTS she works in private practice or travels with the Australian Sailing Team and winter sports. Jess has over 10 years experience with winter sports having travelled with both the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia and New Zealand national teams. She was Australia's snowboard half pipe and ski slopestyle team physio at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Jess also has experience with professional surfers on the ASP surfing tour. 

Jessica Spendlove – Athletic Performance Dietician

Jess graduated her Bachelors degree in Science (Nutrition) in 2007, quickly moving into a Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics, graduating from Sydney University in 2010. Jess has been the senior dietician here at the GIANTS since 2014 and this year has stepped up to be working with both our AFLW and Netball sides.  Simultaneously Jess works for reigning NRL premiers the Cronulla Sharks.

Rosie Stanimirovic – Performance Sports Psychologist

Rosie has been at the GIANTS for the last five years and is responsible for developing the mental skills of the players to enhance wellbeing and game day performance. She also coordinates the culture and leadership program. Rosie worked at her thirsd Olympic Games in Rio withthe Australian Sailing Team.  She was previously at the New Zealand Academy of Sport and then spent eight years as a Senior Psychologist at the Australian Institute of Sport. Rosie loves footy and completed her PhD examining the psychological predictors of success in AFL Football.

Merv Lopez – Head Trainer

Merv has been a sports trainer for over 23 years having worked in the NRL for Penrith, Cronulla and Canterbury. After starting at the GIANTS in 2015, Merv has progressed from NEAFL trainer (2015-2016) to now senior AFL and AFLW sports trainer in 2017. His role at the club is to prep players to perform at both training and during games.

Simone Freeman – Athletic Performance Specialist (AFLW)

After initially excelling as a FastTrack trainee in 2016, Simone came onboard in 2017 to lead the design and implementation of Strength and Conditioning for the newly established GIANTS Women’s AFL and GIANTS Netball teams. In addition, Simone continues to help in the delivery of strength programs with the men’s AFL team. Simone has an excellent understanding of what it means to be an elite athlete, having represented Australia in Softball over recent years. 

Alex Munt – FastTrack Trainee – Nutrition and Dietetics

Originally from Adelaide, Alex graduated from the University of Sydney with a Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2016 and joins the GIANTS as a nutrition trainee in 2017. Alex has previously been involved with rowing as an athlete and coach at the school and state level. Alex will be helping with overall player performance by being involved with hydration testing, diet planning and player education.

Chris Beckmans – FastTrack Trainee – Physiotherapy

Continuing the successful APU and Macquarie University Physiotherapy School partnership, Chris joined the APU at the start of the 2017 season, Chris forms part of the physiotherapy team by assisting in pre-training screening, assessment and rehabilitation. Whilst he completes his studies will also act as our NEAFL Head Sports Trainer. Chris is a very hard worker with a passion for sport and a desire to pursue down the path of sports physiotherapy.