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  1. #1
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    How Western Bulldogs recruit Alex Keath went from 12 games at 27 to the most intriguing trade of 2019

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    Alex K
    Alex Keath wasn’t the biggest name to be traded in October, but he was the most intriguing trade of 2019.
    Before the start of the season, Keath was 27 and had only played 12 senior games, having turned his back on a cricket career at the end of 2016 after representing Victoria and the Melbourne Stars.

    But by midway through the year, the out of contract key defender was in All-Australian contention and a man in demand.

    Keath missed four games at the end of the season with a stress fracture in his shin, increasing the intrigue around his trade value.

    He met with both the Western Bulldogs and St Kilda, who both wanted him to undergo surgery to repair the stress fracture in his lower leg, rather than Adelaide’s preference for rest.

    The Shepparton product was excited by Luke Beveridge’s vision and his long standing relationship with Bulldogs CEO Ameet Bains – the pair both attended Melbourne Grammar – helped get him over the line.

    In the end, Keath decided to go under the knife and decided he wanted to move to Whitten Oval.

    With the Victorian turning 28 before the start of next season and with only 30 senior games on the board, it became a drawn out negotiation between Adelaide list manager Justin Reid and the Western Bulldogs’ list boss Sam Power.

    A deal was finally struck hours before the trade deadline. The Dogs sent Pick 45 and a future second-round selection to West Lakes in exchange for Keath and a future third-round selection.

    It ended months of speculation and it ended a landmark year for Keath, who couldn’t turn his back on a lucrative offer from the Bulldogs, which is currently a three-year deal but could be triggered for a fourth season.

    “Adelaide gave me so much in terms of my development in the early years. I moved over there and I was still dabbling in a battling cricket career and they were happy for me train with them and have a look at me and see if I could adapt to the footy program. That initial opportunity was huge from Adelaide,” Keath told foxsports.com.au inside Whitten Oval.

    “It wasn’t so much a decision about wanting to leave Adelaide. It was more about the opportunity at the Dogs and how they saw me fitting in. Adelaide is at a different stage now where they are transitioning to be a bit younger. It was more about getting here and the attractiveness of being a part of this exciting group.

    “It was up in the air for a while in the trade period and came down to the last couple of hours of the trade period. Sam Power and his team were always confident it would get done. I was pretty grateful when it went through.

    “It was nice to get it out of the way and move over here and be able to commit to the plan that the medical team and physios had put in place for me to recover the surgery that I’d had.”

    With champion full back Dale Morris sidelined with a serious knee injury before calling time on his decorated career at the end of the season, and Joel Hamling and Marcus Adams now playing for rival clubs, Power and the recruiting team at the kennel knew they needed a key defender to help support an undersized defence – and they wanted the rising star at West Lakes.

    The Western Bulldogs also needed another key post at the other end. And that’s why they went and poached Josh Bruce from St Kilda.

    “Halfway through the year we had discussions with his management and there was interest quite early on. We were keen to bring a key back in and he was the one that we targeted. We were a bit vulnerable in that position last season, so for him to choose us was great,” Power told foxsports.com.au.

    “He finished 2018 really strongly and we noticed that and the development he made late in that season and he carried that into 2019 straight away. He intercepts well and he is really courageous in the air and they are two qualities we really value with our defenders being able to support each other.”

    Power expects the 197cm mobile backman to continue his upward trajectory in the red, white and blue and doesn’t believe the competition has seen the best Alex Keath just yet. Not even close.

    “We definitely feel there is still another level and a lot more growth in his game. He has demonstrated that year on year,” he said.

    “When we were lucky enough to get in front of him during the off-season, he demonstrated how driven, how mature and how independent he is. And that was really impressive to us.”

    Keath started running shortly after the Western Bulldogs reported back for pre-season in November. He has joined in a few drills in recent weeks and is following a carefully mapped out program that should see him resume full training when the Dogs head to the Sunshine Coast for a camp midway through January.

    The club will be guided by how his leg responds to increases in his training load, but he should be primed to go when the Bulldogs face Collingwood at Marvel Stadium on the opening Friday night of the season.

    “It does depend on symptoms because it is a stress fracture. But at the moment it is all going well. I haven’t felt it at all at training. My loads will increase over the next month or so,” he said.

    Football is Keath’s business now – and has been for a few years – but that doesn’t mean the former all-rounder doesn’t miss the game he walked away from, especially at this time of the year.

    “I miss it a bit this time of year, especially when we’re out in the heat slogging away in a running session. It would be nice to play a game here or there, but I’m fully focused on the footy,” he said.

    If the Western Bulldogs are going to continue their improvement in 2020, the man with plenty of improvement left in him could have a big say in how far they go next September.en Ova
    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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  3. #2
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    Re: How Western Bulldogs recruit Alex Keath went from 12 games at 27 to the most intriguing trade of 2019

    Ameet Bains relationships key to getting Keath & Bruce. Big time delivery across a lot of areas. Our key off field leaders justifying their selection.
    Ret.

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    Re: How Western Bulldogs recruit Alex Keath went from 12 games at 27 to the most intriguing trade of 2019

    The Shepparton product was excited by Luke Beveridge’s vision and his long standing relationship with Bulldogs CEO Ameet Bains – the pair both attended Melbourne Grammar – helped get him over the line
    I'm not being obtuse but what does he mean here? Did Bevo go to school with Ameet or did Alex Keath go to Melbourne Grammar with Ameet Baines.
    WASH YOUR HANDS!!!

  6. #4
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    Re: How Western Bulldogs recruit Alex Keath went from 12 games at 27 to the most intriguing trade of 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Twodogs View Post
    I'm not being obtuse but what does he mean here? Did Bevo go to school with Ameet or did Alex Keath go to Melbourne Grammar with Ameet Baines.
    I assume Keath went to Melbourne Grammar, as did Baines, and they're connected by the old boys network that sort of school provides.
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

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    Re: How Western Bulldogs recruit Alex Keath went from 12 games at 27 to the most intriguing trade of 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by comrade View Post
    I assume Keath went to Melbourne Grammar, as did Baines, and they're connected by the old boys network that sort of school provides.
    It's not just me though is it? That part of the article is poorly written and could be open to interpretation.
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  8. #6
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    Re: How Western Bulldogs recruit Alex Keath went from 12 games at 27 to the most intriguing trade of 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Twodogs View Post
    It's not just me though is it? That part of the article is poorly written and could be open to interpretation.
    It actually sounds like BS.
    What should I tell her? She's going to ask.

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  10. #7
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    Re: How Western Bulldogs recruit Alex Keath went from 12 games at 27 to the most intriguing trade of 2019

    Poorly written. A simple comma in the right place would make it much clearer.

    The Shepparton product was excited by Luke Beveridge’s vision, and his long standing relationship with Bulldogs CEO Ameet Bains – the pair both attended Melbourne Grammar – helped get him over the line.

    Not a great sentence though.

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  12. #8
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    Re: How Western Bulldogs recruit Alex Keath went from 12 games at 27 to the most intriguing trade of 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp View Post
    It actually sounds like BS.
    Yeah it reads like it was added after the rest of the article was written for some reason. To pad the article out or to add a vital fact about the old boy network. It would be ironic if the Old School Tie got a player over the line in choosing the club over another though.
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  13. #9
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    Re: How Western Bulldogs recruit Alex Keath went from 12 games at 27 to the most intriguing trade of 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy'sLore View Post
    Poorly written. A simple comma in the right place would make it much clearer.

    The Shepparton product was excited by Luke Beveridge’s vision, and his long standing relationship with Bulldogs CEO Ameet Bains – the pair both attended Melbourne Grammar – helped get him over the line.

    Not a great sentence though.

    It's clunky and hard to work with. It just doesn't seem to belong for some reason.
    WASH YOUR HANDS!!!

  14. #10
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    Re: How Western Bulldogs recruit Alex Keath went from 12 games at 27 to the most intriguing trade of 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Twodogs View Post
    Yeah it reads like it was added after the rest of the article was written for some reason. To pad the article out or to add a vital fact about the old boy network. It would be ironic if the Old School Tie got a player over the line in choosing the club over another though.
    It can lubricate a deal but would unlikely completely enable it. You know, not like an additional contract year, plus a trigger for another, and the right coin.

  15. #11
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    Re: How Western Bulldogs recruit Alex Keath went from 12 games at 27 to the most intriguing trade of 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Twodogs View Post
    Yeah it reads like it was added after the rest of the article was written for some reason. To pad the article out or to add a vital fact about the old boy network. It would be ironic if the Old School Tie got a player over the line in choosing the club over another though.
    Keath was pretty open before the trade period that he would have stayed at Adelaide if they offered him more years.
    We offered more security than anyone else and he has family in the West. I'd guess they are the two major factors. Rising prospects as a finals side helps too.
    Western Bulldogs: 2016 Premiers

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