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  1. #1
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    Post-flag plummet was always possible

    THE Western Bulldogs have admitted they feared a post-premiership plummet.

    Bulldogs football director Chris Grant revealed club bosses identified the potential to slide - because of their young list demographic - in a review conducted in the weeks after the historic 2016 Grand Final triumph.

    “We were mindful of our vulnerability,” Grant told the Herald Sun.

    “We are under no illusion and we weren’t even at the end of 2016 - it was amazing, incredible that we won the premiership, for a lot of different reasons - but we had one month of unbelievable footy.

    “All of the moons aligned for four weeks, but when we stripped it back and reviewed at the end of the year … we thought, ‘We’ve actually got some challenges in front of us’.

    “We knew we were going to lose some experience - Matty Boyd and Bob Murphy - and so our development and improvement was not simply going to be in a straight line, particularly if we lost key, experienced players to injury.”

    The 14th-placed Bulldogs meet red-hot Melbourne at Etihad Stadium and are in danger of missing the September action for the second straight year.

    Grant said while finals remained an aspiration, the blooding of younger players would start paying dividends next year.

    “We’ve actually got to start to play them … because by 2019 we’re going to be more advanced,” he said.

    The Bulldogs’ average age on Grand Final day was 24.41 years, the third youngest premiership side since 1979.

    “We weren’t under any illusion that just because we’ve won a premiership it’s now hunky dory and off we go and we should be performing like a premiership team for 2017,” Grant said.

    “We were already very aware that it was going to be a pretty tough year.

    “A few of them (the younger players) were going to have some challenges with their game and their one-wood (manic pressure and slick handball movement), the competition was starting to become aware of.

    “We don’t have a Dangerfield-Ablett-Selwood midfield, so we know we have to rely on everybody playing pretty close to their best to perform pretty well.

    “That was always going to be a problem when you’ve got so many players under 50 games.

    “It’s just not going to happen. So when we looked at the demographic of our list, we knew that 2017 and maybe in 2018, we were going to have some challenges based on if we don’t play players and start to actually provide an opportunity at that senior level sooner rather than later, we are going to be in this for too long.

    “But it’s not just that we are young. We know that from a contested ball situation, if we don’t get that right we won’t win. We’re not shying away from those stats.”

    Asked if the club was equipped to handle its first flag in 62 years, Grant said: “Where we weren’t as equipped as we would have liked was in the experience within in our team. When you lose Boyd and then Murphy and you’ve got to blood a new leadership group, there’s just a knock-on affect.

    “When you look at the teams that have been able to back it up, and they may not win it the following year but they have had another solid year … they were able to rely on the maturity of their list to have another crack at it.

    “It’s really hard when you go from winning a premiership, but know you are exposed by an incredibly young team.”
    Tough times don't last, tough people do

  2. #2
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    Re: Post-flag plummet was always possible

    I've got to read this a couple of more times but the logic doesn't stand up to me.
    Tough times don't last, tough people do

  3. #3
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    Re: Post-flag plummet was always possible

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    I've got to read this a couple of more times but the logic doesn't stand up to me.

    I gave up halfway through. I only speak English. God knows what that's written in.
    AFLW Premiers 2018




    After speaking to Obie for about fourty-five minutes on the telephone we
    Finally arrived at the truth of the matter and said that we had to go down
    And pick up the garbage, and also had to go down and speak to him at the
    Police officer's station. So we got in the red vw microbus with the
    Shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed on toward the
    Police officer's station.

    Now friends, there was only one or two things that Obie coulda done at
    The police station, and the first was he could have given us a medal for
    Being so brave and honest on the telephone, which wasn't very likely, and
    We didn't expect it, and the other thing was he could have bawled us out
    And told us never to be seen driving garbage around the vicinity again,
    Which is what we expected, but when we got to the police officer's station
    There was a third possibility that we hadn't even counted upon, and we was
    Both immediately arrested. Handcuffed. And I said "Obie, I don't think I
    Can pick up the garbage with these handcuffs on. " He said, "Shut up, kid.
    Get in the back of the patrol car. "




    Arlo Guthrie

    WOOF NUMBER 6

  4. #4
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    Re: Post-flag plummet was always possible

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    I've got to read this a couple of more times but the logic doesn't stand up to me.
    I can explain it in 3 words - we are tanking

    Fully expecting Bont to be cotton-wooled for the rest of the season if we don't win today.
    "You've got no fear of The Underdog, that's why you will not survive"
    - Spoon, 2007
    - Western Bulldogs, 2016

  5. #5
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    Re: Post-flag plummet was always possible

    This was just what I wanted to read this morning before I reluctantly drive 90 minutes to go to the circus.

    Aren't we suppose to be a professional football club? We're a young side, we won a flag lets just rebuild and win another in another 60 years.

  6. #6
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    Re: Post-flag plummet was always possible

    Quote Originally Posted by Sedat View Post
    I can explain it in 3 words - we are tanking

    Fully expecting Bont to be cotton-wooled for the rest of the season if we don't win today.
    There are clearly some inconsistencies with this article and our strong public position that there was no hangover in 2017.

    Based on someone I know who I regard as a bit of a list management expert we won it 12 months earlier than our 'profile' suggested we should have. We are just playing poorly and we aren't as hungry as we should be.

    They keep saying we lost Murphy and Boyd as one of the reasons for the decline. Murphy didn't play in the grand final and played just 3 games that year and Boyd only played 10 average games in 2017. It's not like they were both the back bone of the 2016/17 seasons.
    We also knew they were retiring and groomed the likes of Biggs to replace them and Williams has stepped up this year.

    Also if they knew we were in for a hit why weren't we vastly more active at the trade table at the end of 2016 when we would have been regarded as a great destination club for opposition players? We went as hard as we could at Hurley but didn't have a plan B other than taking a bit of a gamble with Cloke.
    The fact is we were clearly distracted by our success of 2016 and missed a great chance to consolidate or build again.

    So can someone explain to me why we drafted just 3 players into the side at the end of last season when we knew a plummet was likely?

    And of course the article throws out the old line of we will be more advanced in 2019.

    I'm going to read it again, I'm missing something here.
    Tough times don't last, tough people do

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    Re: Post-flag plummet was always possible

    Its frustrating particularly with the dialogue coming out of the club over the last 2 years I must say I don't believe any of it. We have to look the the future now and what I hang my hat on its that we have our next premiership tilt backline in place. Cordy, Naughton, Adams, Williams, JJ and Richards will be a lethal combination in years to come. Sprinkle that with Bont, Macrae Mclean in the mids and Boyd and English in the rucks its a solid start indeed. We need to find mids and a few specialist forwards obviously, hopefully we can nail a few in this draft.

    We also need a change in the coaching group, you have to back Bevo at this stage but its needs a freshen up to say the least.

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  10. #8
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    Re: Post-flag plummet was always possible

    Quote Originally Posted by kruder View Post
    Its frustrating particularly with the dialogue coming out of the club over the last 2 years I must say I don't believe any of it. We have to look the the future now and what I hang my hat on its that we have our next premiership tilt backline in place. Cordy, Naughton, Adams, Williams, JJ and Richards will be a lethal combination in years to come. Sprinkle that with Bont, Macrae Mclean in the mids and Boyd and English in the rucks its a solid start indeed. We need to find mids and a few specialist forwards obviously, hopefully we can nail a few in this draft.

    We also need a change in the coaching group, you have to back Bevo at this stage but its needs a freshen up to say the least.
    I have to agree, perhaps the distraction with Stringer and then losing Tom Boyd and Cloke to mental health challenges explains 2017 just a small bit but not how we are performing so far this year and why we have been somewhat inactive at the draft and trade table.

    There are some great building blocks for the future but we have to get a lot of things sorted out by the end of the season.
    Tough times don't last, tough people do

  11. #9
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    Re: Post-flag plummet was always possible

    I love Granty but that article is top shelf jibberish, and so reactive. It is an obvious attempt to temper expectations in light of us being completely non-conpetitive against the better teams this year. And it is a ham-fisted revision of history by trying to explain that the last 18 months were all part of the plan.

    We couldn't put a foot wrong in late 2016 across the entire club - I always go back to the example of taping Jong's good shoulder in the VFL GF as an organisation nailing every last detail. We have been getting far too much wrong since.
    "You've got no fear of The Underdog, that's why you will not survive"
    - Spoon, 2007
    - Western Bulldogs, 2016

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  13. #10
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    Re: Post-flag plummet was always possible

    Explains it down to a tee.

    You can say we shouldn't have excuses, but we have lost the second most injury days to any other club (Adelaide just ahead of us) and most weeks we have played with a team on the park with less than 60 games average. No team, and I mean no team can win games playing with inexperienced players like that.

    Yes there have been other issues, yes maybe we should have gone harder with delistings, but how low do you go.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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    Re: Post-flag plummet was always possible

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    Explains it down to a tee.

    You can say we shouldn't have excuses, but we have lost the second most injury days to any other club (Adelaide just ahead of us) and most weeks we have played with a team on the park with less than 60 games average. No team, and I mean no team can win games playing with inexperienced players like that.

    Yes there have been other issues, yes maybe we should have gone harder with delistings, but how low do you go.
    Whether or not it explains the current situation is irrelevant. It is completely against the club message of the last 18 months.

    If this message was conveyed in the 2016 off-season there would be no problem whatsoever. The reactive nature of this position is what pisses me off. Granty has basically confirmed that the club has been lying to its members and the wider footy community for the last 18 months.
    "You've got no fear of The Underdog, that's why you will not survive"
    - Spoon, 2007
    - Western Bulldogs, 2016

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  17. #12
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    Re: Post-flag plummet was always possible

    Quote Originally Posted by Sedat View Post
    Whether or not it explains the current situation is irrelevant. It is completely against the club message of the last 18 months.

    If this message was conveyed in the 2016 off-season there would be no problem whatsoever. The reactive nature of this position is what pisses me off. Granty has basically confirmed that the club has been lying to its members and the wider footy community for the last 18 months.
    Clubs never come out and say we will lose games for two years and have a tilt in 2019.

    I am being realistic with what has happened this year.

    I am sure the results so far would have been different if Libba, Morris, Picken, Adams, Clay, Redpath and Trengove (all games) were all available for the season to date.

    Yes we have played at times up to 6 players with less than 10 games and most of those players have shown ability and earned their spot, but you can't expect them to be world beaters.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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  19. #13
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    Re: Post-flag plummet was always possible

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    Clubs never come out and say we will lose games for two years and have a tilt in 2019.

    I am being realistic with what has happened this year.

    I am sure the results so far would have been different if Libba, Morris, Picken, Adams, Clay, Redpath and Trengove (all games) were all available for the season to date.

    Yes we have played at times up to 6 players with less than 10 games and most of those players have shown ability and earned their spot, but you can't expect them to be world beaters.
    Are you being realistic or blindlly supporting whatever they say?

    So if the club didn't have the right profile after 2016 and knew a slump was likely how does that explain the somewhat minimal changes to the list in the last 2 seasons ?

    I believe we rated our list but are now trying to at least explain why we haven't quite measured up to expectations.
    Tough times don't last, tough people do

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  21. #14
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    Re: Post-flag plummet was always possible

    Agree wholeheartedly with you GVG.

    Several of us were concerned before 2017 even started with our lack of activity at the trade table and the shuffling of coaches, along with the messages of celebrating well into 2017.

    This article convinces me we need a clean out of management starting with Grant.

  22. #15
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    Re: Post-flag plummet was always possible

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bulldogs Bite View Post
    Agree wholeheartedly with you GVG.

    Several of us were concerned before 2017 even started with our lack of activity at the trade table and the shuffling of coaches, along with the messages of celebrating well into 2017.

    This article convinces me we need a clean out of management starting with Grant.
    Is it possible we shuffled more coaches around than players at the end of 2016? ☺
    Tough times don't last, tough people do

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