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  1. #1
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    Marcus Bontempelli reveals why he calls coach Luke Beveridge ‘The Bison’ and how he’s become known as ‘The Stallion

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    Luke Beveridge has been increasingly referring to Marcus Bontempelli as “Stallion” in team meetings at Whitten Oval.

    It’s a little bit of payback.

    Bontempelli, normally simply referred to by teammates as ‘Bont’, uncovered a little-known secret from Beveridge’s time as an assistant coach at Hawthorn.

    Beveridge had been nicknamed after another animal — ‘Bison’ — by a select few people at the Hawks given his body build.

    Western Bulldogs vice-captain Bontempelli was the only one willing to start calling Beveridge by the name after he and a few teammates found out.

    The Stallion and The Bison share a pre-game chat before Western Bulldogs’ clash with North Melbourne. Picture: Michael Klein.

    The Stallion and The Bison share a pre-game chat before Western Bulldogs’ clash with North Melbourne. Picture: Michael Klein.

    “I caught wind of it through other people but I was the only one that was brave enough to run with it early on and I’ve really stuck by it,” Bontempelli said.

    “It just shows our relationship. I’m happy to give him a bit of stick every now and then and as a player you want him to feel that as well. You don’t want him to feel like he’s the coach and we’re the players and there’s a distinction there.

    “That’s a little way I can bring him down to our level and I’m happy to throw a bit of stick his way when I see fit.”

    Bontempelli’s eyes light up when he talks about Beveridge.

    The strength of the pair’s relationship is clear to see.

    “I’ve spent a number of years with him now and have been through a lot personally with him and as a team as well,” Bontempelli said.

    “I think the thing about Bevo is it’s so true what he stands for and what he believes in and you can really respect that from a person.

    “He’s always got our back and, as a player, that is something that I think every coach needs to embody. But Bevo just does that so well.”

    Beveridge has thrown Bontempelli a new challenge this year — more midfield minutes — and the 23-year-old has not let his coach down.

    Essendon great Tim Watson believes Bontempelli is the best player in the AFL right now, and there’s a reasonable argument that can be mounted for that.

    Bontempelli’s consistency of performance this season has been close to unmatched.

    He has not had less than 19 disposals in a game this year and, among midfielder, the Bulldog ranks No. 1 in the competition for metres gained and third for score involvements, highlighting his damaging impact.

    “It’s a cool thing to be mentioned as part of the conversation,” Bontempelli said of Watson’s assessment.

    “I think some of my football I’ve been able to play this year has been as influential as it’s ever been, but you’re always searching for that perfect game.”

    Bontempelli and teammate Josh Dunkley took a trip to the United States last October, training at Nike’s world headquarters in Portland as well as with Olympic coach Dr Matt Kritz in San Diego.

    The pair both credit the trip with helping kickstart their pre-seasons and have brought back and adapted plenty of leanings from it to become faster and more powerful athletes this year.

    While the pair were in America, Footscray VFL coach Daniel Giansiracusa was in Italy and brought back an idea of his own — an Italian coffee club.

    And it’s not just those with Italian heritage like Giansiracusa and Bontempelli that are attending for a shot of espresso in the football department kitchen at Whitten Oval.

    “It’s been a fun little thing that Gia and a few others have put together as a little bit of culture within the footy club,” Bontempelli said.

    “We put on one of the old school Cafeteras and it just boils away. You might have a little cup of espresso and just chew the fat.

    “It’s a nice little breather. It’s a bit like your old water-cooler situation.”

    Bontempelli was two months shy of his 21st birthday when he played in the Bulldogs’ drought-breaking premiership in 2016.

    He thought there would be more success to come, but two finals series have been missed since.

    Now 23, Bontempelli is determined to help drive the Bulldogs back into September, and he has little doubt about where the side is heading.

    “I’m really comfortable with the strides we’ve made as a group this year,” he said.

    “We’ve been able to build a bit more chemistry and we’ve really grown as a group.

    “Who knows what can happen within these next five weeks.”
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  2. #2
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    Re: Marcus Bontempelli reveals why he calls coach Luke Beveridge ‘The Bison’ and how he’s become known as ‘The Stal

    You have to love the respect and love between coach and player here.
    “They need a safe word here the bombers”

  3. #3
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    Re: Marcus Bontempelli reveals why he calls coach Luke Beveridge ‘The Bison’ and how he’s become known as ‘The Stal

    Good read. Thanks BAD.
    AFL PREMIERS 2016

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