Thanks Thanks:  4
Likes Likes:  1
Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Braybrook
    Posts
    1,108
    Post Thanks / Like

    Western Bulldogs can make quick return to finals after suffering premiership hangover in 2017

    Western Bulldogs can make quick return to finals after suffering premiership hangover in 2017
    Chris Cavanagh, Herald Sun, December 26, 2017 2:25pm, Subscriber only
    THE Western Bulldogs went from hero to zero this year, missing finals after their drought-breaking 2016 premiership.

    But most of the premiership side remains at Whitten Oval and the club will be confident of getting back on track next year.

    While the club may have lost plenty of experience and x-factor with the exits of Bob Murphy, Matthew Boyd and Jake Stringer, it more than made up for it in the trade period by securing Jackson Trengove, Hayden Crozier and Josh Schache.

    Here are eight reasons Western Bulldogs can improve in 2018.


    The Western Bulldogs after losing the final game of the year.

    FINDING MORE

    When you have 15 players who are down in output by 10 per cent you are going to struggle. That was the story of the Western Bulldogs this year. Many players had career-best campaigns in 2016 which led to the drought-breaking premiership but were down on form in 2017. There is clearly a capable playing list there to work with and coach Luke Beveridge will be confident of getting more out of it next year.

    PLAYING FOR CAREERS

    Talking of players who were down on form this year, Luke Dahlhaus and Tom Liberatore were two examples. The duo had top-six best-and-fairest finishes in 2016 but both missed the top-10 this year. Dahlhaus’ statistics were only fractionally down but his impact was significantly less. Liberatore averaged almost 12 fewer SuperCoach points and just 149.3 metres gained, down from 244.5m. What makes things interesting is both players are out of contract at the end of next year, among others including Lin Jong, Jordan Roughead, Matthew Suckling and Clay Smith. While it might not be a case of playing for their careers for all those players, the pressure will be on to perform if they want juicy new contracts.

    Luke Dahlhaus is in the last year of his contract. Picture: Michael Klein Tom Boyd was struck by injury and personal issues in 2017.

    MORE BOYD

    He was the premiership hero in 2016 but Tom Boyd played just 11 games this year, battling form and then personal issues. The 2013 No.1 draft pick missed seven games in the back half of the season after being diagnosed with clinical depression but did return to the fold to play four VFL matches at the end of the year. The 22-year-old showed what a player he could be in the 2016 Grand Final, kicking 3.2 from 14 disposals. The Dogs will very much welcome his return next year and will be hoping he can produce such games more regularly.

    EASIER DRAW

    On the back of their 2016 premiership, the Bulldogs were slapped with the fourth-hardest fixture last year as judged by Champion Data. Next year they have a significantly better run, their draw judged the ninth-hardest. The club faces double-up matches against only two 2017 finalists — West Coast and Port Adelaide — while also playing Melbourne, North Melbourne and Carlton twice. The Bulldogs also have home games in six of the first eight rounds and only five six-day breaks throughout the year.


    Marcus Bontempelli in action during a training camp in Torquay. Picture: Michael Klein

    BETTER PRE-SEASON

    Beveridge admitted in March there was “uncertainty” around how his side felt heading into Round 1 after an interrupted pre-season. Not only did the Dogs have a late start given their premiership triumph but they were also hit hard by injuries. Marcus Bontempelli, Matthew Boyd, Travis Cloke, Jordan Roughead and Tom Campbell were among those affected. If the curse does not strike again, the Bulldogs will have a much better lead-in to next season.

    SEE YA, STRINGER

    Premiership player and livewire forward Jake Stringer is gone and his x-factor could at times be missed. But on the flip side, there were positives out of trading the 23-year-old to Essendon. Relationships clearly broke down this year and Stringer being pushed out while under contract sent a message to other players about the standards Beveridge demands as well as his willingness to put the club before any individuals. The Bulldogs also secured Brisbane forward Josh Schache with one of the two second-round picks they received from the Bombers in the Stringer trade and the 2015 No.2 draft pick seemingly has plenty of untapped potential.

    OTHER SIGNINGS

    Schache was not the only acquisition for the Bulldogs over the trade period, with Hayden Crozier (Fremantle) and Jackson Trengove (Port Adelaide) also finding their way to Whitten Oval. Crozier, 24, has played 35 games at the Dockers over the past two years and is likely to slot in at half-back to help fill the void of retired pair Bob Murphy and Matthew Boyd. Trengove, 27, will help add some much-needed height to the backline while also having the ability to swing forward or pinch-hit in the ruck.

    GOALKICKING

    One of the biggest areas the Bulldogs can derive improvement from next year is their goalkicking. The side was at times woeful this year and finished with the equal-worst accuracy in the competition alongside St Kilda at 52 per cent. In Round 16 they kicked 5.15 against Adelaide to lose by 59 points despite having just four fewer scoring shots. A little goalkicking practice over summer might go a long way.
    “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

  2. Likes KT31 liked this post
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,025
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Western Bulldogs can make quick return to finals after suffering premiership hangover in 2017

    Thanks Choco for posting this. Reasonable article, only time will tell. We are due for a bit of luck in injury department.

    Apart from those mentioned, a few fringe players will be giving their all you’d think in vfl to make a case for longer retention/promotion eg Collins, Honeychurch, Roberts, Roarke S, Williams, Lynch, Greene, NMM....

    The other area that fascinates me is who will pin down ruck, forward and back key tall spots as we have for 1st time in my 20 years of being a member a surplus of talls.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wherever the dogs are playing
    Posts
    36,965
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Western Bulldogs can make quick return to finals after suffering premiership hangover in 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by josie View Post
    Thanks Choco for posting this. Reasonable article, only time will tell. We are due for a bit of luck in injury department.

    Apart from those mentioned, a few fringe players will be giving their all you’d think in vfl to make a case for longer retention/promotion eg Collins, Honeychurch, Roberts, Roarke S, Williams, Lynch, Greene, NMM....

    The other area that fascinates me is who will pin down ruck, forward and back key tall spots as we have for 1st time in my 20 years of being a member a surplus of talls.
    20 years, try the first time since 1974 I can't ever remember having 20 plus players over 190cm. Surely we have the tallest playing group in the AFL, although Caleb would bring the average down
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    EJ Whitten Stand
    Posts
    12,541
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Western Bulldogs can make quick return to finals after suffering premiership hangover in 2017

    A big 2018 coming up for our team. Need to really work hard next year and make the finals again. The pre season news so far has been very positive.
    AFL PREMIERS 2016

Posting Permissions

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