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  1. #1
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    The meeting which turned the Dogs' season around

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    Western Bulldogs star Jack Macrae has revealed details of a mid-season meeting in which players vowed not to quietly play out the season, looking forward to the September holidays.


    The Dogs headed to the mid-season bye with four wins from 11 games, and having lost seven of their previous nine, sitting 14th on the ladder with commentators consigning them to a third successive season out of the finals since the fairytale 2016 premiership.


    But fast forward less than three months, and a finals berth is Luke Beveridge’s side to lose. The Dogs have won seven of 10 matches since returning from the short break, including thrashing top-eight sides Essendon and Greater Western Sydney in rounds 21 and 22 respectively.


    The Dogs’ destiny is in their own hands, and a win over Adelaide in Ballarat on Sunday will secure finals for the men from Whitten Oval.


    Macrae — who is in All-Australian contention after another prolific campaign in which he has played every game and is averaging more than 33 disposals — told the Sunday Age that captain Easton Wood and his deputy Marcus Bontempelli had stressed the importance of the Dogs taking care of themselves over the mid-year break, portending that 2019 was not yet a write-off.


    “Until you’re mathematically out, you always have that belief. And especially with a group like ours, I feel like when we have a bit of momentum we’re a very strong team. I think it’s something that’s been very exciting for me to see, for the team," Macrae said.
    "Maybe halfway through the year a few other teams may have accepted the season’s not going the way they wanted to, and we’re very proud of the way we’ve managed to turn that around, and as I touched on, have the destiny in our own hands of playing in finals.


    “Over the bye week, we made a really strong point as a group to really look after ourselves over the bye, and really look to attack the second half of the year really strong. I remember Bonty just touching on that, that we don’t know how much we can achieve as a group and it’s really important to mentally and physically refreshed but come back really strong after the bye, and we obviously did that, and have performed really well since the bye.


    “[The message was] ‘We can do a lot of damage in the back half of the year. We’re not going to be a group that quietly plays out the season, and looking forward to the September holidays or anything like that’.”
    Macrae’s own role in the resurgence shouldn’t be understated. With Bontempelli and Josh Dunkley also firing, the Dogs’ midfield is being spoken of as arguably the strongest in the league.


    The humble and understated Macrae, who said his 700-disposal season had been “pretty pleasing,” hailed the way Dunkley and Bontempelli conducted themselves both on and off-field.


    “If anything, the internal competition, you just see how well those guys play and it just makes you strive to be a better person and a better player as well,” Macrae said.


    “Internally, I rate us extremely highly, but week to week if you don’t turn up you can be beaten if you don’t show respect to the opposition.”


    Macrae downplayed the importance of the 2016 triumph in helping this group of players. However for Macrae more than others at the club, a reminder of the 2016 flag comes regularly.


    Along with defender Zaine Cordy, Macrae is studying a bachelor of business at Victoria University. Premiership hero Tom Boyd, who retired earlier this year following mental health issues, is also doing the course.


    “Me and Zaine still see him a few times a week. It’s been good in that sense to keep in consistent contact with him. For us especially, it feels like he hasn’t left us at all in that sense. It’s been pretty good.


    “Every time we catch up with him he’s very keen to talk about the club. He has great memories of the club.
    “He’s a great footy mind as well. He’s been watching all the games and keeping in close contact.”


    Macrae, who conceded that, as a quiet person, he isn't a "natural-born leader," added that he'd been working on being more vocal given he was now one of the most senior players at the club despite only turning 25 earlier this month.
    Last edited by bornadog; 26-08-2019 at 12:04 PM.
    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: The meeting which turned the Dogs' season around

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    link



    Western Bulldogs star Jack Macrae has revealed details of a mid-season meeting in which players vowed not to quietly play out the season, looking forward to the September holidays.

    The Dogs headed to the mid-season bye with four wins from 11 games, and having lost seven of their previous nine, sitting 14th on the ladder with commentators consigning them to a third successive season out of the finals since the fairytale 2016 premiership.

    But fast forward less than three months, and a finals berth is Luke Beveridge’s side to lose. The Dogs have won seven of 10 matches since returning from the short break, including thrashing top-eight sides Essendon and Greater Western Sydney in rounds 21 and 22 respectively.

    The Dogs’ destiny is in their own hands, and a win over Adelaide in Ballarat on Sunday will secure finals for the men from Whitten Oval.

    Macrae — who is in All-Australian contention after another prolific campaign in which he has played every game and is averaging more than 33 disposals — told the Sunday Age that captain Easton Wood and his deputy Marcus Bontempelli had stressed the importance of the Dogs taking care of themselves over the mid-year break, portending that 2019 was not yet a write-off.

    “Until you’re mathematically out, you always have that belief. And especially with a group like ours, I feel like when we have a bit of momentum we’re a very strong team. I think it’s something that’s been very exciting for me to see, for the team," Macrae said.

    Maybe halfway through the year a few other teams may have accepted the season’s not going the way they wanted to, and we’re very proud of the way we’ve managed to turn that around, and as I touched on, have the destiny in our own hands of playing in finals.

    “Over the bye week, we made a really strong point as a group to really look after ourselves over the bye, and really look to attack the second half of the year really strong. I remember Bonty just touching on that, that we don’t know how much we can achieve as a group and it’s really important to mentally and physically refreshed but come back really strong after the bye, and we obviously did that, and have performed really well since the bye.

    “Me and Zaine still see him a few times a week. It’s been good in that sense to keep in consistent contact with him. For us especially, it feels like he hasn’t left us at all in that sense. It’s been pretty good.

    “Every time we catch up with him he’s very keen to talk about the club. He has great memories of the club.

    “He’s a great footy mind as well. He’s been watching all the games and keeping in close contact.”


    Macrae, who conceded that, as a quiet person, he isn't a "natural-born leader," added that he'd been working on being more vocal given he was now one of the most senior players at the club despite only turning 25 earlier this month.
    Going to assume this was in reference to Boyd despite the last person referred to in the article being Bont.

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  4. #3
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    Re: The meeting which turned the Dogs' season around

    Quote Originally Posted by hujsh View Post
    Going to assume this was in reference to Boyd despite the last person referred to in the article being Bont.
    yes Boyd
    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
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    Re: The meeting which turned the Dogs' season around

    I have reposted this article as I think some paragraphs were missing
    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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