The Essendon Football Club wishes to advise of the following changes to its Football Department Structure.

Firstly, the Club is extremely pleased to announce the appointment of Matt Rosa to the position of AFL Talent & Operations Manager.

Rosa played 207 AFL games across 14 seasons for the West Coast Eagles and the Gold Coast SUNS. Post his retirement as a player, he joined the West Coast Eagles coaching team for two seasons.

More recently, Rosa has spent the past three years as General Manager – Football Operations of the Peel Thunder FC in the WAFL, which is the Fremantle Dockers alignment club.

In his time at Peel Thunder, he has overseen a significant period of change, assisting the transformation of the Club’s list management strategy, culture and performance, culminating in Peel’s appearance in this weekend’s senior WAFL Grand Final.

Rosa is a well credentialed leader who has always invested heavily in his own development and is well positioned for a successful career in AFL list management and administration.

He will relocate to Melbourne with his young family and commence in the role as the club’s AFL Talent & Operations Manager in the pre-Christmas period, ahead of the 2024 AFL Season.

Essendon CEO Craig Vozzo said Rosa was an excellent fit for the Club.

“Matt is a high-quality person and leader, and he has worked extremely hard to prepare himself for this important role. He has done the hard yards to develop a broad skillset and expertise. We are excited to have Matt on board to lead our Talent, List Strategy and Operations functions moving forward and we look forward to welcoming him, Hayley and their 3 children to the Club,” Vozzo said.

Rosa said he was excited about the opportunity at the Bombers.

“After going through a thorough process, it is clear there is a strong commitment to do the hard work required to set up a period of sustained success. I’m looking forward to being part of that journey,” Rosa said.

“This is a great opportunity for me and I’m excited to be able to build upon a talented young list and help this Club strive for success. Essendon is a special club with a rich football history and my family and I are excited to be part of its future.”

To coincide with this announcement, the Club’s General Manager of List and Recruiting, Adrian Dodoro, has made the decision to take a step back from his current senior role following this year’s NAB AFL National Draft. He will lead the Club through the upcoming 2023 Trade and Draft period in his current position prior to transitioning to and assisting Matt Rosa moving forward.

Dodoro, an Essendon Life Member, has played a significant role at the Bombers over nearly three decades and said the time was right to take a step back.

“I approached Craig back in April to discuss the concept of transition and I feel that now is the right time to make this decision,” Dodoro said.

"I sat on the panel to assist in the selection of Matt, and I believe he will be an outstanding acquisition to the Club for years to come. I look forward to working with Matt moving forward.

“These roles are very taxing on individuals and their families and it just feels like that. After nearly three decades and with stability in key roles at the Club, now is the right time for me to take a step back in to a role which will provide me and my family with a better work life balance.

“More immediately, we have an important few months coming up and I’m looking forward to playing my part to deliver a strong Trade and Draft period for the Club to ensure that the playing list is in a strong position for the future.”

Essendon CEO Craig Vozzo acknowledged the significant impact Dodoro has made at the Club since joining in a full-time role in 1998.

“Adrian is a highly respected Life Member of the Essendon Football Club and has made an enormous contribution to the Club and the wider AFL industry during his time in football, including assisting to navigate the Club through unprecedented and challenging periods,” Vozzo said.

“Throughout his time at the Bombers, Adrian’s commitment and passion to take the Club forward in its list management and recruiting, has been unquestionable. Some of the Champions of Essendon have been identified and selected by Adrian, and we will always be grateful for the important and enduring role he has played.

“On behalf of the entire Club, we would like to acknowledge Adrian’s selfless decision and we look forward to his ongoing contribution to the Club.

“Adrian will work with Matt to ensure a smooth hand-over and a successful transition of responsibilities.”