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  1. #1
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    Question Is Western Bulldogs star Tom Boyd suffering from a premiership hangover?

    Most players will experience a moment when they know they belong at AFL level, and for Tom Boyd it seemed like the grand final was that moment.

    No matter what happens for the remainder of his career, that day can never be taken away from him. He stood tall on the biggest stage and ultimately delivered the Western Bulldogs a premiership, in turn ensuring their multimillion-dollar investment has already paid off.

    But while that performance might live long in the memory for Dogs fans, Boyd now needs to ask himself: do I want to be remembered simply for a great grand final? Or do I want to want to be remembered as one of the greats, full stop?

    Ultimately, the answer will come from his mental application. The very best players challenge themselves to get better every year, and I just wonder whether Boyd's had that frame of mind over the summer.

    Let's not forget in last year's preliminary final he shouldered the ruck duties when Jordan Roughead went down injured. That performance was arguably as good as his grand final, despite being very different.

    While his match against the Giants wasn't necessarily a big one on the stats sheet, it was dogged, hard-nosed and dour. He did what he had to do to get the job done. If you'd said before that day he'd be one-out against Shane Mumford, you'd think he was in for a flogging, but that wasn't the case.

    The following week in the grand final he showed another side to his game, taking pack marks and kicking important goals. He didn't win the Norm Smith Medal, but I had him best on ground. That fortnight should have been the catalyst for a big season in 2017.

    Yes, he's had his moments, and wouldn't be playing if Luke Beveridge didn't think he'd done the work, but has Boyd done everything he could to prepare? Or did he think it was just going to happen? I can't talk on his behalf, but given what Boyd produced in September and the confidence he would have gained by playing at such a high-level in the biggest game of his life, I've expected more.

    In five games this season he has taken just one contested mark. In the grand final he took six. As a ruck-forward he just needs to go from contest to contest, but right now he still seems to have workrate issues and floats in and out of games.

    Having said that, in a lot of ways his form mirrors that of the Dogs as a whole. Last year their premiership was built on manic pressure and winning the ball in tight. So far, they haven't been able to match that approach. The fact they've had five weeks less preparation than most sides could be a factor, but heading into round six they should have reached that real match-hardness.

    The Dogs are playing a slightly different brand, and while it's allowed them to score more heavily, it's also allowed them to be scored against more easily as we saw against Brisbane last week. They're playing in bursts, rather than for the full four-quarters. At four and one it's not a major concern, but they won't be able to bring that spasmodic effort to Canberra when they take on GWS.

    In the preliminary final, I thought the Giants might get the Dogs on the outside with their speed and run, but Beveridge's men were simply hungrier when it counted. They won the 50-50 contests and when their opponents had the ball they made sure tackles were rarely broken. If they don't bring that same intensity on Friday night and plan for a shootout I think the Giants will win and win well.

    There's no doubt their last meeting will be at the forefront of everyone's thinking in Western Sydney and particularly for Jeremy Cameron. After a massive qualifying final in which he booted five goals against Sydney, Cameron produced one of the worst games he's played against the Dogs.

    But in contrast to Boyd, there's been a real steeliness about his start to the season and it seems like his mental preparation has been top-class.

    Cameron looks hungry and is attacking the footy more than ever. Like his teammates, he'll be hoping to erase those demons of 2016 on the Friday night stage. On the other hand, the Dogs can really press home a mental advantage against a side they're likely to face again later in the year.

    This match has already become somewhat of a new age rivalry given the links between the two clubs. Callan Ward left the Dogs for the money in Sydney, while Boyd and Ryan Griffen traded places a few years ago.

    Since then there's been no lack of feeling and given their age demographics it's likely be a strong rivalry for some time. While Boyd is still a work in progress, what better way to prove he really is a consistent big-time player, than by toppling his former team once again?

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  2. #2
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    Re: Is Western Bulldogs star Tom Boyd suffering from a premiership hangover?

    Or is he a 21 year old still learning the game.

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    Re: Is Western Bulldogs star Tom Boyd suffering from a premiership hangover?

    Quote Originally Posted by Topdog View Post
    Or is he a 21 year old still learning the game.
    Desperate stuff. Compare his career output with a heap of guns and compares really well at 43 games. Add in his PF & GF and has arguably ahead of the curve. Not to mention his forward team mates in Cloke, Redders & Dicko are injured as is Roughy. But never let reason or facts get in the way of a weak story. If the expectation is at 21, with injuries around him and coming off a shoulder reco, that he's going to have a GF type performance every 2-3 weeks, then one has ludicrously unrealistic expectations and do not know much about the game.
    I'm worth a million in prizes, with my torture film. Drive a G.T.O. Wear a uniform. All on a government loan.

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  6. #4
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    Re: Is Western Bulldogs star Tom Boyd suffering from a premiership hangover?

    I think he needs his eyes checked for one. Seems to not read the flight of the ball under lights very well, I watched him against the lions and on one occasion he adjusted his lead to the ball twice, ie he thought it was coming in shorter then longer, then shorter again.
    He was actually in the right spot for the fall of the ball but then thought it was coming in shorter the last second and he undershot it again.

    Someone also needs to teach him how to use his body in marking contests.

    His body use is literally non existent, just runs at the ball, jumps straight up, doesn't protect his space, or alter his run to out position the defender. Marks life very easy for defenders who just run along side him and spoil him at every chance.

    There are some highlights of Fergus Greene kicking his 5 goals for Footscray last weekend. He is excellent at the above for such a young, inexperienced and slightly built kid. He made marking look easy (granted the defenders weren't very good), just stood there, stuck his bum out at the right time, or turned his body to protect the fall of the ball and took the mark without a hand near him.

    This is why I worry for Boyd, he has probably relied on being big and tall for so long that he didn't even need to develop these skills.

    Anyway he did stand up in the finals to some extent and maybe he'll play better tonight.

  7. #5
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    Re: Is Western Bulldogs star Tom Boyd suffering from a premiership hangover?

    Tom had an interrupted preseason due to reconstructive shoulder surgery.

    In round 1 he had to ruck virtually by himself against a very good ruckman in Grundy.
    In round 2 he had a slow start before a good 2nd half contributed to our win over the Swans.
    No idea how he went against Freo - I missed the game due to work.
    Then he was concussed in the 1st quarter against North, and would have still been feeling the effects of that against Brisbane last week.

    Once Roughy is back, and Tom can play the majority of the time up forward with Trav Cloke and Stew Crameri, then we will get a better indication of how young Tom is tracking.
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    Re: Is Western Bulldogs star Tom Boyd suffering from a premiership hangover?

    Quote Originally Posted by bulldogtragic View Post
    Desperate stuff. Compare his career output with a heap of guns and compares really well at 43 games. Add in his PF & GF and has arguably ahead of the curve. Not to mention his forward team mates in Cloke, Redders & Dicko are injured as is Roughy. But never let reason or facts get in the way of a weak story. If the expectation is at 21, with injuries around him and coming off a shoulder reco, that he's going to have a GF type performance every 2-3 weeks, then one has ludicrously unrealistic expectations and do not know much about the game.
    What's the Carey comparison at 43 games BT?
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    Re: Is Western Bulldogs star Tom Boyd suffering from a premiership hangover?

    Quote Originally Posted by Twodogs View Post
    What's the Carey comparison at 43 games BT?
    WC: 60.40 - The best pure CHF of the modern age, easily. With Longmire, Fridge, Schwass, Allison and others up forward.

    TB: 40.23 with a reconstructed shoulder, and playing ruck.
    I'm worth a million in prizes, with my torture film. Drive a G.T.O. Wear a uniform. All on a government loan.

    I'm worth a million in prizes. Yeah I'm through with sleeping on the sidewalk - no more beating my brains. No more beating my brains. With the liquor and drugs. With the liquor and drugs.

    Well I am just a modern guy, of course I've had it in the ear before. 'Cause of a lust for life. 'Cause of a lust for life. I got a lust for life.

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    Re: Is Western Bulldogs star Tom Boyd suffering from a premiership hangover?

    Quote Originally Posted by bulldogtragic View Post
    WC: 60.40 - The best pure CHF of the modern age, easily. With Longmire, Fridge, Schwass, Allison and others up forward.

    TB: 40.23 with a reconstructed shoulder, and playing ruck.
    Far out that's impressive from Carey. He's a bit like Tom being the great white hope at a down trodden suburban club and all of a sudden started to fire it to premierships. He's twice the bloke Carey is though. I can't see Tom Boyd ever being a pariah at any club. Except GWS of course but who cares about them? They will probably be gone by the time Tom finishes his career.

    Speaking of Tom Boyd I was watching Peter Wright snapping goals on his wrong foot from 30 metres out tonight and it struck me how much more better for his development it's been spending most of his time in the forward line. Us banging Tom Boyd around in the ruck week after week instead of letting him develop as a key forward for 80% of the game may have been one of the contributing factors to that dud shot last night.

    He must have have been exhausted after running all over the ground most of the night. And sore with Mumford smashing into him at every contest. And because he isn't playing forward he has missed out on having lots of shots under match conditions.

    I know it was a case of needs must last night because we'd run out of ruckman. But I can't help thinking we missed the boat by not recruiting a big bodied durable ruck man in the off season. Or making a big play for Trengove from Port. He's been great this year for them. He would have been much better filling in or at least sharing the ruck duties yesterday instead of Boyd for so many reasons
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  13. #9
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    Re: Is Western Bulldogs star Tom Boyd suffering from a premiership hangover?

    Interesting point TD on Boyd. While he has to do some ruck work I also think his development as a key forward means he needs to spend more time up there as the key forward. I still can't see the sense in paying him what we do to be a mid tier ruckman especially given what it also cost us to get him to get him to the club in terms of the trade. It was a massive investment and yet we seem to have given up on him being a dominant forward because it's convenient to use him as a back-up ruckman. Lets put some support around him so that he can spend 80% game time as our main target.

    It takes time to develop a lot of young key forwards and I wonder how Tom Hawkins would have gone if we has being chopped and changed in the role he was playing for the Cats.
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    Re: Is Western Bulldogs star Tom Boyd suffering from a premiership hangover?

    Exactly. He's also said on a number of occasions how heavy his legs get rucking too much. The last time he mentioned he used to take speccys as a junior but that rucking makes his legs too heavy to jump like that. I also believe the heavy legs he talks about have impacted his goal kicking. From junior to his initial time as a forward with us he was 70% career goal kicking accuracy which is remarkably reliable. Now I wouldn't say I have unflinching doubt when he gets it late in matches.

    I put the numbers up the other day, and he compares very favourably with other big forwards at the same point. So at least statistically speaking, we should be investing in his development as forward even Moreso to ensure he turns out as good as other gun forwards. He's not a gun ruckman, he's 200+cm & 100+kg and someone that size can be competitive. With the rules now the way they are, even Jarrod Witts is getting games and at times looking alright and he costs 1/4 of Boyds salary.

    We saw what he could do on GF day. We know he's a naturally gifted gun KPF, that's why he went at pick one by a country mile over Kelly, Billings & Bonts. We know he can take huge marks, we know his goal kicking accuracy is excellent and we know his career output (despite rucking and a shoulder reco) compares well to Jon Brown, Pavlich, Nick Riewoldt, Josh Kennedy etc. So if Tom despite those impediments has provided similar output to these guys, I would think we'd be crazy to not spend every once of energy improving his forward craft and giving him as much time up forward to learn and develop, with pinch hitting help.
    I'm worth a million in prizes, with my torture film. Drive a G.T.O. Wear a uniform. All on a government loan.

    I'm worth a million in prizes. Yeah I'm through with sleeping on the sidewalk - no more beating my brains. No more beating my brains. With the liquor and drugs. With the liquor and drugs.

    Well I am just a modern guy, of course I've had it in the ear before. 'Cause of a lust for life. 'Cause of a lust for life. I got a lust for life.

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  17. #11
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    Re: Is Western Bulldogs star Tom Boyd suffering from a premiership hangover?

    With Redpath, Cloke and Roughead all injured, Boyd's simply taking one for the team at the moment.

    A classic thoroughbred doing donkey work for the good of the club. A well paid workhorse, though!!

    It's all good. Good for Tom in the long run and good for the club in both the short and the long run.

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    Re: Is Western Bulldogs star Tom Boyd suffering from a premiership hangover?

    Quote Originally Posted by Webby View Post
    With Redpath, Cloke and Roughead all injured, Boyd's simply taking one for the team at the moment.

    A classic thoroughbred doing donkey work for the good of the club. A well paid workhorse, though!!

    It's all good. Good for Tom in the long run and good for the club in both the short and the long run.
    Yes and no. Why does it have to be as a ruckman when as you say we are also missing two key forward targets?
    We either planned poorly by not replacing Minson with someone with a mature body who could fill in for a few games or we gambled on the fitness of two ruckman who haven't really proved they're that durable?

    There is no question he has to do some ruck work but I hope we are looking to address for next season.
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    Re: Is Western Bulldogs star Tom Boyd suffering from a premiership hangover?

    Roughead and Campbell both played through 2016 without any major, long term injury issues. Why plan for both of them to go down?

    Boyd playing as ruck/forward won us a flag. It's an incredibly important position in the modern game, and he should split his time between forward and 2nd ruck moving forward.

    Who cares how much we pay him. Playing him forward exclusively because of his contract rather than where he better suits the team (and his own capabilities) is insane.
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

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  21. #14
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    Re: Is Western Bulldogs star Tom Boyd suffering from a premiership hangover?

    Quote Originally Posted by comrade View Post
    Roughead and Campbell both played through 2016 without any major, long term injury issues. Why plan for both of them to go down?

    Boyd playing as ruck/forward won us a flag. It's an incredibly important position in the modern game, and he should split his time between forward and 2nd ruck moving forward.

    Who cares how much we pay him. Playing him forward exclusively because of his contract rather than where he better suits the team (and his own capabilities) is insane.
    Not sure anyone is saying anything 'insane' like that. The reference to money, that at least I made, was that the rules now allow tall bean poles to have a spot in the modern game, like Jarrod Witts. So if we desire someone like that, we could go after one this year for nada salary and free Boyd up. I don't think that's going to happen. Also, Boyd was so highly regarded and aggressively pursued as a future gun KPF, not be over rucking and I've not seen anything to tell me he can't develop into that gun KPF at the level. Boyd can do the same thing in the ruck as Witts because he's a similar size. That doesn't make him a good ruckman, it's just his size.

    The argument is he's been a gun forward, has the career output with other gun forwards at this stage, should help out a little in the ruck, but should be developed to be the gun forward those who followed him for many years know he can be. Over rucking him isn't good for his forward development. His development as a KP forward has significantly more mid and long term benefit to our club than over rucking a tall kid. I'd hate to think our investment in him will slow or reduce because he's rucking to the point the rest of his game suffers. He's very, very close to Josh Kennedy in career output to 43 games, his original draft selection, that he was traded early in a big trade. West Coast put the time into him as a forward and would be rapt with the outcome, and I'm suggesting we do it as much as we can possibly do. We have a rare talent on the list, and we just need to develop him and rucking the amount he has been is not going to develop his forward craft. When Camhead are fit I understand this will help.
    I'm worth a million in prizes, with my torture film. Drive a G.T.O. Wear a uniform. All on a government loan.

    I'm worth a million in prizes. Yeah I'm through with sleeping on the sidewalk - no more beating my brains. No more beating my brains. With the liquor and drugs. With the liquor and drugs.

    Well I am just a modern guy, of course I've had it in the ear before. 'Cause of a lust for life. 'Cause of a lust for life. I got a lust for life.

  22. #15
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    Re: Is Western Bulldogs star Tom Boyd suffering from a premiership hangover?

    I just don't see how Boyd becomes a top line key forward with his limited marking ability. He has a worse technique than just about any forward I've ever seen.
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

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