Key Coaches Secured for 2020

After winning three premierships and taking out the Sydney AFL Club of the Year in 2019, the UNSW/ES Bulldogs are stepping it up again in 2020 with an envious coaching panel already appointed.

Our Men’s Premier Division coach, former Swan Dean Towers, has confirmed his position for a further two years, and will be joined at the Club by Sydney Swans Academy coach Gerard Pignatelli who will take on the reigns as Women’s Premier Division Coach.

Club Life Member and Bulldogs legend Steven Chichester also returns to the helm as the Under 19’s coach and will combine with Heath Northey to continue to develop our pathway program.

“The early appointments of these coaches in preparation for the 2020 Season was vital to the Club as we enter our 140th year”, said UNSW/ES President Stephen Dunkley.

“As the oldest established AFL Club in NSW, we’re looking forward to celebrating our anniversary and making ourselves at home at the new training ground and facilities at Dave Phillips Oval”

“We couldn’t do all of this without the terrific support from Easts and Maroubra Junior football clubs. These relationships continue to build and form the basis of the talent and participatory pathways available for boys and girls to reach their full potential.”



Dean joined the Club in 2019 after his successful career at the Sydney Swans, and was an immediate asset in his role as Player / Coach.

He has renewed his contract with eyes on the future, and the overwhelming support of the playing group.

He successfully guided the defending Premiers to back-to-back victories with the support of Football Director Shane Snibson, who is also returning to the Kennel in 2020.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my first year at the Bulldogs”, said Towers. “I’m really looking forward to the ongoing development through our pathway program of a large group of players into senior football.”

His reappointment combined with Shane gives our club great continuity and leadership as we strive for an elusive three peat.

On Towers, Dunkley said “Dean’s professionalism and expertise have been a tremendous addition to the Club, and I’m extremely pleased that he has shown faith in our process and culture and wants to continue beyond 2019”

Training commences at Dave Phillips oval on Monday 4th November at 6.30pm all existing and new player welcome. 


Gerard has joined the Bulldogs from the Maroubra Saints, where he has coached the U14 D1 Youth Girls and the U11 D1 boy’s 2019 premiers.

Originally from Melbourne, Gerard has an impressive list of playing achievements having played over 350 games with Aberfeldie and Airport West football clubs in the strong Essendon District Football League including two premierships.

Since retiring and moving to Sydney, he has also been involved with the Swans Academy in both the boys and girls program.

Passionate about women’s football, game development and the retention of  local Eastern Suburbs players, this new role is the perfect platform for him to contribute and deliver to our Women’s program.

Both Maroubra and Easts Youth players and coaches are on board with this talent pathway model to senior football.

On Pignatelli, Dunkley said: “Gerard is the right fit for our Club in terms of his skills and vision and our goals are clearly aligned. We want our women’s program to be the pathway to AFLW, and this appointment will underpin this vision”

Pres-season training information will be communicated shortly. Please check our Facebook page for updates. 

UNDER 19 PATHWAY PROGRAM – Steven ‘Chitty ‘ Chichester

After taking a well earned break in 2019, Chitty is returning to his second home in 2020 to take charge of our under 19 program.

After winning back to back premierships in 2019, Greg Baxter has stepped down from his coaching role and the club would like to thank him for his tireless work and dedication resulting in the ultimate reward for his efforts.

Well known in football circles in the Eastern Suburbs, Chitty has been involved with Maroubra Juniors, Swans Academy and also held key roles at UNSW/ES for many years.

Tireless and passionate about our pathway program and the development of the game, he will be supported by Heath Northey who has been playing with Griffith in the strong Riverina Football League. Heath trained with the club in 2019 and assisted with the under 19 program throughout the year.

On Chichester, Dunkley said: “Chitty is the ultimate Club man, and we’re delighted he has agreed to take on this key position in 2020. He bleeds red, white and blue and the boys are lucky to have his knowledge, passion, patience and humour driving the the Pathway Program next year.”

Pres-season training information will be communicated shortly. Please check our Facebook page for updates. 

For any enquiries please contact Stephen Dunkley President UNSW/ES Bulldogs on 0418 516376 or via email

For those wanting to get in touch with the new coaching panels, their contact details are below:

Women’s Premier Division – Gerard Pignatelli

Under 19’s Pathway Program 

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