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  1. #1
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    How Bevo helped Lloyd

    Sam Lloyd



    A little bit of mindfulness and a lot of love from coach Luke Beveridge has given Western Bulldog Sam Lloyd a new lease on life at the Kennel. The gun forward on life after Richmond, mental health and his mate Dusty.

    Starvation corner is a piece of real estate where the mind can start playing tricks on you damned fast.

    For Western Bulldog Sam Lloyd, the doubts used to creep in within minutes of the first bounce, given what had befallen him so often before.

    As a half forward you earn your keep hitting the scoreboard and getting your hands on the Sherrin and if you donít, welcome back to the world of the VFL quick smart.

    Both seasons the clever mid-sized forward has played over 20 games he has amassed hauls of 35 and 38 goals and yet in between there have been seasons of eight, eight, seven and 12 games.

    Lloyd, 29, might seem like a laid-back country boy from Deniliquin, but says there is no surprise about the season he just peeled off given he finally felt he wasnít playing for his spot each week.

    An ex-Tiger secured with a throwaway pick 64 would finish the season with 38.31, his 80 total shots at goal a remarkable ninth in the competition.

    ďAt the start of the year I didnít know what to expect but Bevo (Luke Beveridge) knew what he wanted and I got some confidence in my game,Ē he said.

    ďI wasnít thinking, I am going to get dropped if I play s**t.

    ďIt made a huge difference and I went outside what I usually do and tried to play a team leadership role down there which gets you outside your own footy and in turn makes your own game better, which is good.

    ďItís huge. Itís probably something I have done the majority of work on besides the physical side of footy. Not trying to think like that if I havenít got a kick in 10 minutes, trying to reverse my thinking. A few years ago I would be like that and itís no good for anyone if you are like that the whole game. You donít have to dominate to get a game, it helps the team if you are just playing your role.Ē

    The key to that turnaround is mindfulness consultant Emma Murray, the same expert who has helped Lloydís friend and Brownlow date Dustin Martin realise his potential.

    ďI still speak to Emma who was at Richmond. She has been amazing. I give her a phone call when I need to touch it up. She does a lot of work with triggers especially. If I start to think that I havenít had a kick or am going nowhere, itís about trying to get back into a good state of mind to re-set. Itís the main basis behind it, and that in partnership with a bit of confidence has been good.Ē

    Lloydís decision to find greener pastures was inspired given his own form and a Richmond logjam that meant even Josh Caddy couldnít find a forward role last year after 46.15 in 2018.

    A Dogs list management team that hoped Josh Schache and Tom Boyd might be a saviours before Round 1 last year has in the space of 12 months found Aaron Naughton as a forward, secured Josh Bruce, seen Bailey Dale dominate after serious injury and introduced Lloyd as a dangerous forward.

    Add in mid-forward Patrick Lipinski, draftee Cody Weightman and Tory Dickson and the front six is stacked with talent.

    If Lloyd wasnít as accurate as his 2016 Tigers season of 35.13 ó including that post-siren winner against Sydney ó he credits it for some long-range shots and quick snaps he will try to pass off this year.

    He hasnít missed a beat over the pre-season, like all the Dogs players mystified by the elimination final flop and their disappointment at not reacting to Toby Greenís harassment of Marcus Bontempelli.

    ďYou canít blame anything else than frame of mind. You get the two weeks off before so we were all fresh, we just went into some state of shock or something and couldn't get it right,Ē he says of his first taste of September action,Ē he said.

    ďI was up the other end of the ground (from the Greene-Bontempelli incidents) and itís easy to say now but I genuinely didnít see it. But itís something thatís stuck in the mind before we play them next, thatís for sure.I donít think it will ever be like that again.Ē

    Lloyd is exactly the kind of knockabout, quick-with-a-smile character that makes a football club, which is why the Tigers were sad to see the back of him but happy to release him for greater opportunities.

    He retains strong friendships with his Punt Road teammates, tagging along with Dustin Martin in 2016 and 2017 to footyís night of nights.

    ďThe first Brownlow was good, we didnít have a Grand Final to play,Ē he quips of what was surely an epic celebration.

    ďThe second one dragged on but it was good to see him win, that was something I will never forget. Mate, you have seen what he can do as a player but what a lot of people donít see is the kind of person he is from the outside.

    ďThey can throw judgments at him from a distance, but he is one of the kindest, most caring guys you will ever meet and all in that heís a pretty good footballer and they are pretty lucky to have him down there.Ē

    Martinís contempt for the media is well-known, but doesnít it mean the fans donít get to see his true character?

    ďYeah, I can see that. Itís his persona as well that people love,Ē Lloyd says.

    ďI would say it might be disappointing for everyone because heís completely different to what is portrayed at times but he doesnít mind. He has done a lot of work on who is around him and the people that surround him and thatís all he would care about.Ē

    Like many Tigers past and present Lloyd was surprised but not shocked with Alex Ranceís sudden retirement.

    ďI am still good mates with Rancey. I have given him his space and havenít spoken to him about it, heís probably getting phone calls from all over the place

    I guess I can understand it, I see where heís coming from knowing Rancey for five or six years there, ď

    He is a complex guy, one of the nicest funniest guys you will ever meet but he is complex and at the end of the day I respect his decision

    There is obviously a lot more to it I donít know and he's made the decision for himself and I hope heís happy.Ē
    Tough times don't last, tough people do

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2017
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    Re: How Bevo helped Lloyd

    Like all the team, I hope Lloydy has a good year on field!
    Comes across in this article as a very loyal sort of player who also contributes positively plenty off-field; a valued asset for any club.

  4. #3
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    Nov 2006
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    Re: How Bevo helped Lloyd

    I like Sam a lot. Unlike a lot of our players he isn't terrified of having the ball in his hands in the forward 50 and he loves to have a shot at goal.

    He's gone from the bloke on the list that I had trouble remembering the name of to one of my favorites inside a season.
    WASH YOUR HANDS!!!

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  6. #4
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    Jan 2009
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    Re: How Bevo helped Lloyd

    Love the guys who can thread a goal. Go Sam.

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Re: How Bevo helped Lloyd

    Seems like an absolute legend - hope he earns his spot year round.

    Thatís the third article now Iíve read calling out the dogs mindset for the next GWS game. I honestly canít wait and will say for the 400th time - GOD I WISH IT WAS IN MELBOURNE!!

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