Main content

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. He joined the club at the start of the 2015 pre-season and has worked in professional rugby and soccer both in Australia and in Europe and at two Olympic Games (2008 with Team Great Britain, and 2012 with Team China).

Nick Poulos – Physical Performance Manager

Nick joined the GIANTS for the 2019 season in the role of Physical Performance Manager.  He is very highly regarded all across the world in the field of preparing elite athletes for competition. Prior to joining the GIANTS, Nick led the athletic programme at the Australian Men’s Rugby Sevens and prior to this was the High Performance Manager at the Adelaide Crows. He has also worked in Japan and Qatar and has specific expertise in load management. 

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.

Alex Natera – Senior Athletic Performance Specialist (Strength and Power)

Alex joined the GIANTS at the end of 2017, having previously spent 4 years as the Senior S+C coach at the Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence in Qatar. He has also previously worked at the South Australian Sports Institute, the English Institute of Sport and Crystal Palace Football Club in the English Premier League. Alex brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our APU, as well as enhancing the Unit’s international profile, since he is one of the world leaders in programme design and power development.

Simon Harries – Senior Athletic Performance Specialist (Rehabilitation and Sports science)

Simon joined the GIANTS for the 2019 season in the role of rehabilitation co-ordinator and brings a very impressive background as both a strength coach and sports scientist. Prior to joining the club, Simon led the athletic programme for the Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens and also worked for many years with Nick in the Australian Men’s Sevens programme. Simon is considered to be a leader in the rehabilitation space and will work very closely with the medical team in returning injured players, and will also be the strength coach for many of our younger stars.

Dean Norris – Sports Science Consultant

Dean joined the GIANTS 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 previous 2 years at Carlton. He has a Bachelor of Commerce as well as a Bachelor of Sport Science with 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.

Dr Bassam Moses – Chief Medical Officer

Dr Moses joined the GIANTS at the start of the 2019 season. Dr Moses is a very experienced sports physician who joins us from Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in the NRL. He has served as part of the NSW Blues medical team in the Rugby League State of Origin, and also led the medical team at the Western Sydney Wanderers in the A-League.

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 Kath Gaffney – Team Doctor, AFLW

Dr Gaffney is a highly credentialed and experienced sports physician who joins us this year to lead our AFLW medical team

Luke Heath – Senior Athletic Performance Physiotherapist

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.

Cullan Ball – Senior Athletic Performance Physiotherapist

Cullan joined the APU as co-lead physiotherapist in 2019.  Originally from Canberra via Sydney, Cullan was a physiotherapist at Essendon Football Club for 5 years before moving to the Melbourne Rebels to lead their medical team. Cullan returns home to Sydney and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the medical team.

Nalesh Murti – Athletic Performance Physiotherapist

Nalesh has been part of the 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 Nalesh is our lead NEAFL physiotherapist after having run our AFLW programme in its inaugural year.

Chris Beckmans - Athletic Performance Physiotherapist

Chris had an outstanding year as our FastTrack trainee in 2017, and was rewarded with a contract to stay on staff this year, where he will continue his development as NEAFL physiotherapist.

Petra Koenig  - Movement Specialist Physiotherapist

Petra joined the APU at the start of the 2019 preseason. An expert physiotherapist with a speciality in movement freedom and Pilates, Petra works with our players to enhance their torso strength and mobility. She also runs The Studio. Physio & Pilates in Rozelle where a number of our players can be seen getting some extra work in when they need to.

Jessica Spendlove – Senior 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 also works with our Netball team.  Jess is expecting to complete her International Olympic Committee Diploma of Sports Nutrition this year, whilst simultaneously, Jess runs her own business called the Health and Performance Collective and works as the dietitian for NRL side Cronulla and NBL side Sydney Kings.

Nick Needs – Athletic Performance Dietitian

Nick joined the GIANTS in a part time role assisting Jess Spendlove in 2019. Nick is a highly talented dietitian who will be leading the GIANTS' NEAFL side's nutrition programme this season.

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. His role at the club is to prep players to perform at both training and during games.

Simone Freeman – Athletic Performance Specialist (AFLW & GIANTS Netball)

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. In 2017, Sim was awarded the title of ASCA Female Strength Coach of the Year.

Gemma Vale – Athletic Performance Physiotherapist, AFLW and Giants Netball

Gemma leads the physiotherapy service across our AFLW and Netball programmes. Gemma has come through the Netball NSW program working with state and Australian Netball league teams. She also has extensive experience working with female athletes in rugby league and rugby union. 

Kay Robinson – Athletic Performance Physiotherapist, AFLW

Kay is a highly experienced physiotherapist who works within our AFLW programme on a part-time capacity in aid of Gemma Vale. Kay has worked at the top level of world sport with Team GB at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, with Team Botswana at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and with multiple Australian teams in sailing, equestrian and hockey.

Alex Munt – Athletic Performance Dietician (AFLW)

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.

Billy Macklin - FastTrack Trainee - Strength & Conditioning

Billy is building his career as an S&C coach and is in his second year within our programme and has added assisting Simone with our AFLW programme to his portfolio.

Jackson Selby – FastTrack Trainee – Physiotherapy

Jackson is the latest in a long-line of successful Macquarie University students who have spent a year within our programme whilst finishing off their studies. A former elite rugby player, Jackson assists in screening, assessment and rehabilitation and will work with our NEAFL team for all matches this season.