Mat Innes, long-time physical performance manager at the Western Bulldogs, and a VU alumnus
Mat Inness, long-time physical performance manager at the Western Bulldogs, and a VU alumnus

Victoria University is sending more than just love and support to Queensland this weekend as the Western Bulldogs face a do-or-die match in the AFL finals.

VU will also provide the sport science expertise of several graduates, including Dr Mathew Inness, who has been the team’s physical performance manager for the past five years.

Mat worked with the Doggies as part of VU’s Bulldogs partnership program, completing his PhD at VU in 2012 on altitude training in team sports.

“My research gave me the opportunity to make the contacts and progress into my current role,” he said.

“What has been most beneficial about my PhD was learning how to critically analyse research and make informed decisions about what the team should add into its program, and what isn’t suitable."

With 2020 being a tough time for all, Mat said the Bulldogs have acclimatised well to the Gold Coast heat after they left their beloved Footscray for Queensland, thanks in part to VU’s Environmental Exercise Lab (EEL) at the Footscray Campus, as well as saunas and spas.

While Saturday’s competitors, St Kilda, were much too good for the Dogs when the teams last clashed in Week 2, members of the mighty red, white and blue are looking forward to Saturday’s match, he said.

VU’s unique association with the Club began in the 1980s and has grown to include its women’s AFL team, and a VFL men’s and women’s team, adding even more connections to VU’s proud Western Bulldogs partnership.

Watch out on Saturday for Zaine Cordy, Aaron Naughton, Jackson Macrae – and Mitch Wallis and Easton Wood if they play. They’re all current VU students or alumni.

The VU community congratulates the Western Bulldogs and wishes them all the best as they take on St Kilda at the Gabba Saturday 3 October from 4.40pm, to be broadcast live on Channel 7.

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