Thanks Thanks:  1
Likes Likes:  2
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Warragul
    Posts
    2,091
    Post Thanks / Like

    Gary Buckenara analyses Western Bulldogs list after the 2017 season

    Gary Buckenara analyses Western Bulldogs list after the 2017 season

    THE Bulldogs would be bitterly disappointed to not make finals after the fairytale premiership last year but the club shouldnít make any rash decisions.

    Great expectations come with winning a premiership and what the Bulldogs have learnt this year is just how much hard work it takes to stay at the top, which is often underestimated externally especially when talking about a young team like this one.

    There is no such thing as an easy game in the AFL anymore and that has never been truer than in season 2017, one of the tightest in the gameís history. The Bulldogs players likely just struggled going from the hunter to the hunted and backing up every week when you know your opposition is going to throw everything at you ó their work ethic goes up at least five per cent ó because they want to knock off the premiers.

    As individuals, the young group would no doubt be questioning whether they may have been just a bit satisfied with what they achieved last year. Did they actually train and prepare and were they as professional as what they were a year or two ago?

    There is no doubt players like Tom Liberatore, Jake Stringer, Luke Dahlhaus, Clay Smith, Jordan Roughead and even Marcus Bontempelli, despite winning the best and fairest, didnít reach the same level of performance they did in 2016.

    But that doesnít mean these guys are bad players or that last year was just a flash in the pan.

    I expect the Western Bulldogs to bounce back and bounce back really hard in season 2018 and be a top-four side and premiership contender.

    Luke Beveridge said the club and Stringer reached a mutual decision to part ways but I wouldnít be rushing out to do a deal despite the forward being set to nominate Essendon as his preferred new home.

    There are obviously personal issues that have been written and spoken about and it seems Stringer is all but gone but I would urge the Bulldogs not to make any rash decisions based on one sub-par year and off-field dramas. There is no club out there that knows Jake Stringer as well as the Bulldogs.

    And that goes for Tom Liberatore as well.

    Stringer is an All-Australian, a premiership player and he has so much talent and x-factor itís worth trying to work with him to get him back to that form we saw in 2015. Itís hard to find players like Jake Stringer.

    The Bulldogs need to get the forward structure right with Jack Redpath, Tom Boyd, Travis Cloke, Tory Dickson and Stewart Crameri so it can release Stringer to play further up the ground as that midfield wildcard who can burst out of packs and use his explosiveness. That is the role he should be and needs to be playing. Thatís when heís at his most dangerous.

    Having said that, if Essendon offered a top 10 pick ó they currently hold No.11 ó then I would consider doing the deal. Or a 2018 first-round pick given the strength of next yearís draft pool. Anything less than that then Iíd be saying ĎOK Jake, weíre going to keep you and now itís on you to get yourself right.í

    While some might think that is overs for a guy who is coming off a disappointing season and has some off-field concerns, the facts remain that Stringer was a pick No.5 back in 2012, is still just 23 years of age and he is already an All-Australian and premiership player.

    To get a second-round draft pick in return for your investment just isnít enough despite the off-field issues. Can the Dogs really replace Stringer with a player it gets in the second round? Not in this draft.

    Liberatore spent time in the VFL this year and was under pressure for his performances basically for the entire season but what people donít realise is he was doing roles for the side late in the second. He was playing shutdown roles on the oppositionís playmakers in the last month or so.

    So while he might have only been getting 14 or 15 disposals, down from 30-odd last year, thatís because his role wasnít to be a ball winner it was to stop his direct opponent from getting it. Youíre not going to get big numbers when youíre doing that role.

    I donít think the Bulldogs would be entirely unhappy with him. Yes, at times his body language wasnít great because maybe he would have preferred to have been playing a different role but he did the job and he did it for the team. That would be acknowledged by Beveridge, the coaches and his teammates.

    This year will no doubt have provided the players with a huge learning experience, going from that euphoria of a premiership to the disappointment of missing finals will ground a lot of those players. They will be better for it and they should come back hungry to achieve that ultimate success again.

    There are a lot of talented players on the list who are still in the infancy of their careers. We saw the development of Bailey Dale who turned into a good player, Caleb Daniel didnít have a great year but heís a real professional and I think heíll bounce back, Toby McLean is turning into a good player, Josh Dunkley missed a lot of the year with injury, Marcus Adams was a mature-age pick-up but has had two injury-riddled seasons and Lewis Young showed good signs late.

    Add them to Lin Jong coming back from injury, another pre-season into Mitch Wallis after his serious leg injury, Jack Redpath back fit after his knee reconstruction, Roughead hopefully having a clear run at it, Tom Boyd back from his personal issues and a fit Tory Dickson after his injury problems.

    Then consider Bontempelli, Dahlhaus, Stringer (if heís there), Liberatore, Easton Wood, Jack Macrae, Lachie Hunter, Matt Suckling and Jason Johannisen ó that is a talented team with plenty of depth.

    This isnít going to be a team on the slide.

    WHAT THEY NEED

    If the Bulldogs could lure Jackson Trengove, and the talk is that they will, to play as a key defender from Port Adelaide as a free agent and then also nab a ruckman then those are really the missing pieces of the puzzle. That helps their structure enormously.

    The Bulldogs desperately need to shore up their defence and help veteran Dale Morris and Trengove fits the bill because I believe playing down back is his best position so I hope thatís the role they have in mind.

    Zaine Cordy and Fletcher Roberts arenít really No.1 defenders, theyíre more second or third talls and Kieran Collins is still developing so that is definitely an area requiring attention.

    Beveridgeís team was probably the most affected by the third-man up rule and I think itís time the club invested in a genuine ruckman. Tim English will develop but heís not ready yet so an experienced ruckman is on the shopping list, which would allow Jordan Roughead to be released into a key defensive role, which I think heís best suited. If the Bulldogs could get a Todd Goldstein or Stefan Martin or even Matthew Lobbe from Port Adelaide that would be ideal.

    UNDER THE PUMP

    Stewart Crameri, Clay Smith, Mitch Honeychurch and Kieran Collins are all under the pump but for different reasons.

    Crameri had an injury-interrupted year coming off the 12-month suspension for his role in the Essendon supplements saga and if he stays at the Bulldogs he will need to put in a big pre-season, get his body right and get back to his best. If he canít, then at 29 years of age, turning 30 next year, his place becomes vulnerable. Heís in a race against time to reproduce his best footy, which is really important given the struggled the Bulldogs had up forward this year.

    Did Smith enjoy the premiership a bit too much last year? Obviously heís had a history of serious knee injuries and had to endure some personal tragedy but he really didnít produce what we expect of him. Heíll need to put in a big pre-season of training and games to make sure heís back in that side for Round 1.

    Honeychurch played a few games this year but still failed to cement his spot in the side despite plenty of opportunities, given the teamís struggles this year, that presented. He might look for another club.

    Collins is a young key defender who I rated really highly in the 2015 draft but has had some injury concerns and will need to show something next year. The Bulldogs are crying out for a big full back and heís exactly that but despite Cordy and Roberts failing to lock down that spot, he didnít get a look in. Kieran is Brian Lake reincarnate and I expected more from him because heís already got a big, strong body and I thought heíd make an impact straight away.

    BUCKYíS LIST CHANGES

    Bob Murphy and Matthew Boyd have retired, while Declan Hamilton, Josh Prudden and Tristan Tweedie have been delisted and I wouldnít be making any other changes outside of trade ins or outs (depending on requests and list spots) given that is four changes already from in the primary list. This is a young list and the Bulldogs are still finding out which players can or canít make it at the level.

    CRYSTAL BALL

    I hope the Bulldogs players sat down and watched the finals series and the Grand Final in particular so all those emotions of what it was like to run on the MCG in the final game of the year came flooding back. That provides hunger and will drive this group through pre-season and I expect the Bulldogs to be challenging for top four and for the premiership next year.

    The premiership window is wide open.

  2. Thanks bulldogtragic thanked for this post
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Doglands
    Posts
    21,355
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Gary Buckenara analyses Western Bulldogs list after the 2017 season

    Bucky's around the mark. I don't agree with everything written but it's a balanced view
    "Lets roll and hey...lets do it to them before they do it to us"

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5,545
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Gary Buckenara analyses Western Bulldogs list after the 2017 season

    How dare he disrespect the great Zain Cordy.

    Also a bit odd that he likes Trengrove as our big key defender AND wants to move Roughy down back.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Doglands
    Posts
    21,355
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Gary Buckenara analyses Western Bulldogs list after the 2017 season

    Quote Originally Posted by hujsh View Post
    How dare he disrespect the great Zain Cordy.

    Also a bit odd that he likes Trengrove as our big key defender AND wants to move Roughy down back.
    Not forgetting that he has Lobbe in the mix as well
    "Lets roll and hey...lets do it to them before they do it to us"

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Eastern Suburbs
    Posts
    2,501
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Gary Buckenara analyses Western Bulldogs list after the 2017 season

    It's one of very few articles or commentaries in the AFL media right now that can see beyond the hysteria of what's apparently gone down following Jake's exit interview to today. Yes, Jake must address his behaviour and attitude but he's hardly Jeffrey Dahmer. Some perspective might not go astray but I guess perspective rarely trumps sensationalism.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    20,662
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Gary Buckenara analyses Western Bulldogs list after the 2017 season

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc26 View Post
    It's one of very few articles or commentaries in the AFL media right now that can see beyond the hysteria of what's apparently gone down following Jake's exit interview to today. Yes, Jake must address his behaviour and attitude but he's hardly Jeffrey Dahmer. Some perspective might not go astray but I guess perspective rarely trumps sensationalism.
    Yep, to be fair to Jeff, he goes harder at the man than Jake.
    The problems you sow, are the troubles you're reaping... As I'm sitting here doing nothing but ageing. Still, my guitar gently weeps.

  8. Likes Doc26, WBFC4FFC liked this post
  9. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Hawforn
    Posts
    7,657
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Gary Buckenara analyses Western Bulldogs list after the 2017 season

    It's amazing how far a pragmatic and non-hysterical view on Stringer contrasts with what we're hearing in the media.

    I quite like much of what's been written, don't agree that we should be targeting Lobbe!

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    8,065
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Gary Buckenara analyses Western Bulldogs list after the 2017 season

    That's one of the better efforts I've read from the media about our current situation.

    Fingers crossed the value of Stringer is one industry people (not journalists) agree with.
    #bemorebulldog

    Men of Mayhem

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Cairns
    Posts
    4,888
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Gary Buckenara analyses Western Bulldogs list after the 2017 season

    Quote Originally Posted by Axe Man View Post
    Bob Murphy and Matthew Boyd have retired, while Declan Hamilton, Josh Prudden and Tristan Tweedie have been delisted and I wouldn’t be making any other changes outside of trade ins or outs (depending on requests and list spots) given that is four changes already from in the primary list
    It's 3, Prudden was a rookie
    If you kicked five goals and Tom Boyd kicked five goals, Tom Boyd kicked more goals than you.

    Formerly gogriff

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,263
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Gary Buckenara analyses Western Bulldogs list after the 2017 season

    Certainly it's a more balanced view than the doom merchants

  13. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    East of the West
    Posts
    3,271
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Gary Buckenara analyses Western Bulldogs list after the 2017 season

    Quote Originally Posted by bulldogtragic View Post
    Yep, to be fair to Jeff, he goes harder at the man than Jake.
    That's the wrongest thing I've read here. Good day to you sir.
    "It's over. It's all over."

  14. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    sydenham
    Posts
    9,012
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Gary Buckenara analyses Western Bulldogs list after the 2017 season

    I find it quite a laugh how different journos can be, and they call themselves experts, if they are so called experts wouldn't most articles be similar ? But you read this then Wallace and it's mind blowing.
    I used to chat to Terry occasionally and he usually is pretty good he likes us but that article stinks of over reaction off a hangover year.
    You can't put down a list when it hasn't changed much from a flag the year before .. Yeah the commitment etc was probably down but it is obviously a great list when you have them in the right frame.
    Bring back the biff

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •