South Fremantle have appointed former West Coast staffer Stuart Kemp as their chief executive, replacing Brian Ciccotosto.
Kemp will return to WA to join the Bulldogs after a five-year stint in Melbourne, where he worked as advertising manager for the Melbourne Tigers in the NBL and in a similar role at Etihad Stadium.
Prior to that, he spent three years at the Eagles in sponsorship and advertising positions and as chief executive of PGA WA.
Bulldogs spokesman Anthony van der Wielen said Kemp, who played 150 games of amateur football for Wembley, had come highly recommended by Eagles chief executive Trevor Nisbett and other former South figures who had worked with him at West Coast.
"It is almost impossible to replace someone like Brian Ciccotosto," van der Wielen said.
"We are moving in a different direction, a new genre for the club."
Ciccotosto has been involved with South Fremantle in one capacity or another since joining as a young player 46 years ago in 1966.
The Bulldogs have extended coach Paul Hasleby's contract for a further season, giving him security through until the end of 2014.
"We are extremely happy with what he has implemented here in the past two years since joining in a high-performance role," van der Wielen said.
"Our colts have won two flags in a row now and last year Paul gave a lot of kids opportunities.
"We understand it is a long-term thing, rebuilding the club on the field. We wanted to show Paul that we are committed to him."
The next wave of young Bulldogs will be ushered into league ranks without the guidance of veteran Toby McGrath, who has called time on his career after 234 games.
McGrath won nearly all there was to win at WAFL level, with two premierships, one as captain, two best-and-fairest awards, and Sandover and Simpson medals.
He also spent time on rookie lists at West Coast and Essendon, represented WA six times and was named as one of the top 25 WAFL players of the past 25 years.
McGrath, who turns 32 next week, said his ageing body and increasing work commitments meant now was the right time to bring down the curtain on a career that began in 1998.
South Fremantle will adopt a fresh training program next year that requires players to commit far more time to the club.
"It was just my time. I had a good run but my body has had enough and now my mind has kind of had enough," McGrath said.
"I wanted to leave on my terms instead of getting midway through next year and being told I'm not going to be part of the league side any more."
McGrath said in August he was reluctant to leave with South Fremantle struggling near the foot of the ladder. But he is now comfortable with the direction Hasleby is taking the club.
"They're putting a more professional process in place and looking to recruit a few big names," McGrath said.
·Veteran Kris Miller last night claimed his third W J Hughes Medal as the Bulldogs' best player in 2012.We wanted to show Paul that we are committed to him. " *Anthony van der Wielen *
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