Bulldogs give Jones an opening

John Townsend

Chad Jones has started down the path towards a senior coaching role after becoming an assistant at the Western Bulldogs' VFL affiliate Footscray.

Jones, who won two flags with Claremont and a pair of Bernie Naylor Medals after his AFL career was cruelled by injuries and lack of opportunities, will assist Footscray coach Chris Maple next year.

The job was arranged by former West Coast and Swan Districts forward Ashley Hansen, who has been with the Bulldogs for the past two years.

Jones, 29, retired after Claremont's loss in the preliminary final.

He kicked two goals in that match to become the 31st WAFL player with 400 goals and the only player, apart from Subiaco's Brad Smith, to reach the mark since West Coast's arrival in 1987.

Jones played 13 AFL matches in his five seasons with North Melbourne and the Eagles, but finally flourished at the start of this decade when Claremont dominated the WAFL with three consecutive grand final appearances.

His absence from the 2010 grand final, due to a severe hamstring injury, was telling in Claremont's one-point loss to Swan Districts.

The Bulldogs have abandoned their arrangement with VFL stalwarts Williamstown and will now operate their own reserves team in the State competition.

Subiaco premiership coach Peter German was in charge of Williamstown for the past four years and will take the reins of standalone club Coburg in 2014.