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  1. #1
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    How Bevo's selection tough love bucks the trend

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    UNDERSTANDING the Western Bulldogs' success means grasping the frank relationship between premiership coach Luke Beveridge and his troops.

    Beveridge is a clinical and innovative operator with a rough-and-tumble exterior who expertly maintains a reputation as a players' coach despite his tough-love approach with selection.
    Much was made of his decision to dump Jake Stringer to the VFL late last year, but a closer inspection of 2016 and 2017 so far reveals those hard calls are part of the coach's blueprint.

    Beveridge's Bulldogs racked up 24 unforced changes last season, with only bottom-eight clubs Fremantle and Melbourne (both 28) and Richmond (25) making more.
    By contrast, Sydney's triumphant 2012 squad and Hawthorn's in 2013 recorded only seven and 10 unforced changes, respectively.

    Stringer's premiership teammates Joel Hamling, Toby McLean, Fletcher Roberts and Josh Dunkley also fell victim to the axe last year.
    It took until round 19 for Zaine Cordy to break into the senior squad, while 2013 No.1 pick Tom Boyd spent five long rounds in the VFL after a shoulder injury cost him six weeks.

    There was also Beveridge's cold-as-ice demotion on finals eve for Nathan Hrovat. Not all stories have a fairytale ending, and Hrovat is now a Kangaroo.

    The trend has continued, with premiership players McLean and Shane Biggs (twice each), Caleb Daniel, Tom Liberatore, Cordy and Roberts all being dropped this season.
    Liberatore the Stringer of 2017, or the biggest fish in the out-of-favour pond Cordy, Roberts and McLean felt Beveridge's wrath in one hit ahead of the Dogs' round nine match against Geelong.
    "It's probably not pleasant, especially happening twice. You definitely don't get used to it," Biggs told AFL.com.au.

    "But Bevo does it in a way where everyone gets a turn almost and, especially if you're out of form, you sort of know it's coming.

    "It's healthy to go back and work on your game, because it's sometimes easier to work on your game at the lower level."

    Shane Biggs has felt the axe twice in 2017 already. Picture: AFL Photos


    Big-name recruit Travis Cloke knows the feeling all too well from his time at Collingwood, but his new coach delivered another dose last week.

    Jack Redpath, after a combined five goals in his two AFL games back from knee surgery, and Cloke were among the round 10 outs.
    "I don't think anyone (at the Bulldogs) sees going back as a real step down," Biggs said.
    "It's not, 'You're dropped and you can see yourself not getting in for eight weeks'. It's a real time to grow and it can happen within one week, or two or three.
    "Everyone knows what's going on and you know where you're at and there are a lot of conversations being had around the game, so there's no grey (area)."

    Clubs love analysing the reigning premier's strategies and methods then adopting some of them. Whether Beveridge's selection ruthlessness becomes a new fad is worth watching for.

    But it must be noted that two of the Bulldogs' greatest flag rivals, Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney, are going the other way this year.
    The Crows (four) have made the fewest unforced changes, while the Giants although battling injury far more than Adelaide or the Dogs and another frontrunner, Port Adelaide, have just one more.

    Beveridge has made 14, tied with Geelong and Melbourne, and behind only the Brisbane Lions (17) and Richmond (15).


    Team changes since the start of 2016


    CLUB UNFORCED FORCED TOTAL
    Melbourne 42 36 78
    Richmond 40 44 84
    Brisbane Lions 39 49 88
    Western Bulldogs 38 42 80
    Fremantle 37 38 75
    Collingwood 35 46 81
    Hawthorn 35 39 74
    Geelong 34 47 81
    West Coast 33 36 69
    Sydney 32 41 73
    Gold Coast 30 60 90
    Essendon 29 58 87
    Port Adelaide 28 30 58
    Carlton 27 39 66
    St Kilda 21 41 62
    GWS Giants 20 42 62
    North Melbourne 18 47 65
    Adelaide 16 29 45

    The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs
    Premierships: SENIORS - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, 2014, 2016 . AFL 1954, 2016. RESERVES - 1938, 1945, 1962, 1988, 1994, 1998. UNDER 19S - 1954. Other Premierships - Championship of Victoria 1924. VFL Night Series 1963-64, 1967, 1970. Preseason Cup, 2010.

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  3. #2
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    Re: How Bevo's selection tough love bucks the trend

    As far as I'm concerned if you are a top 4 team making as many changes as we are you have ok depth.
    One of the great moments in life is the sense of space and time you feel between taking a hanger and touching back down.

  4. #3
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    Re: How Bevo's selection tough love bucks the trend

    Reputation doesn't get you into this team, doing what the coach asks does.
    Premierships: SENIORS - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, 2014, 2016 . AFL 1954, 2016. RESERVES - 1938, 1945, 1962, 1988, 1994, 1998. UNDER 19S - 1954. Other Premierships - Championship of Victoria 1924. VFL Night Series 1963-64, 1967, 1970. Preseason Cup, 2010.

  5. #4
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    Re: How Bevo's selection tough love bucks the trend

    Who has not t improved sinc being dropped ? Macrae, hunter , Tboyd, stringer, Roberts and recently Biggs dropped and they have come back better players. Like what Biggs mentions about players knowing it and have the right communication to them on what to improve and learn from.

    Maybe Campbell has not yet improved because he has limitations.

    Hope Cloke comes back and starts taking ripping pack marks and destroy defends like in 2010

  6. #5
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    Re: How Bevo's selection tough love bucks the trend

    Bmac put the line in the sand with Jacko, called him out and it was probably the best thing that happened to him.

    Bevo has perfected it, but the above mentioned moment was when I realised we were trying to be a serious club that really develops its young players.

  7. #6
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    Re: How Bevo's selection tough love bucks the trend

    The man pops up everywhere:

    Premierships: SENIORS - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, 2014, 2016 . AFL 1954, 2016. RESERVES - 1938, 1945, 1962, 1988, 1994, 1998. UNDER 19S - 1954. Other Premierships - Championship of Victoria 1924. VFL Night Series 1963-64, 1967, 1970. Preseason Cup, 2010.

  8. #7
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    Re: How Bevo's selection tough love bucks the trend



    WESTERN Bulldogs premiership coach Luke Beveridge has spent the past few days embedded with Queensland's State of Origin rugby league team.

    Beveridge was a personal guest of Queensland coach Kevin Walters thanks to a connection through sponsor EML.
    It's understood Beveridge joined the Queensland camp as early as Monday night.

    He attended team meetings, including the 'captain's run' training session at Suncorp Stadium and an emotional presentation from Maroons captain Cameron Smith on Tuesday night.

    Beveridge was pictured in the Queensland rooms at Wednesday night's game, decked out in an official team polo shirt.
    A Queensland rugby league source confirmed Beveridge was welcomed into the inner-sanctum of the team's coaching unit on match night, including all the pre-match and post-game meetings.

    It's understood Walters is also keen to learn from Beveridge's coaching experience, and the Bulldogs could return the favour at some point in the future.

    Beveridge's appearance seemed to have little impact on the field, as New South Wales thrashed the Maroons 28-4 in Thursday night's game.

    One Maroons official joked to AFL.com.au, "He (Beveridge) is never welcome back mate, because we lost."

    A Western Bulldogs spokesman said Beveridge was on leave and not available to comment.

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    Premierships: SENIORS - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, 2014, 2016 . AFL 1954, 2016. RESERVES - 1938, 1945, 1962, 1988, 1994, 1998. UNDER 19S - 1954. Other Premierships - Championship of Victoria 1924. VFL Night Series 1963-64, 1967, 1970. Preseason Cup, 2010.

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  10. #8
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    Re: How Bevo's selection tough love bucks the trend

    That Queensland official who said Bevo wasn't welcome again because they lost just doesn't understand the Bevo way. First you go one game behind and then you destroy the opposition in game 2 and 3. It's more fun that way.
    AFL premiers 2016
    VFL premiers 2016




    I'm celebrating my love for you
    With a pint of beer and a new tattoo
    And if you haven't noticed yet
    I'm more impressionable when my cement is wet

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