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  1. #1
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    Does Luke Beveridge need to switch up his approach with the Bulldogs?

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    It's been a decade since Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett famously canvassed with the club's hierarchy the idea of dropping coach Alastair Clarkson to the VFL, or at least giving him a week off from his senior coaching duties.


    Three flags later, that idea seems even more comical, but it does raise the question about whether coaches can lose their 'mojo'. Like a player, can a coach be out of form?

    There are several key factors that make a great coach, which have evolved over time. Clearly, now, relationships with players is at the top of the list.

    I've always been a huge admirer of Luke Beveridge. What he managed to do with the Bulldogs back in 2016 was nothing short of incredible.

    I don't think even the most one-eyed Dogs fan would say they had the most talent at least individually but they managed to raise their levels collectively in September.

    Even after two poor performances to start this season, there's obviously a level of admiration between player and coach.

    In terms of how he responded to last Sunday's disaster against St Kilda, Beveridge probably had two options this week either rant and rave, or put his arm around his players even more.

    I suspect he chose the latter.

    But does he need to revisit that messaging after another lacklustre performance? Likewise, have some of his selections been a little left field?

    Beveridge has always been one to say his players need to be able to play multiple positions.

    Coaches are always trying to better themselves and their teams, and that sometimes means hard calls at selection, or throwing the magnets around.

    When Damien Hardwick first moved Jack Riewoldt from a more stay-at-home role to centre half-forward a few years ago, he copped all sorts of criticism about supposedly playing Jack out of position.

    Don't forget, that was before Richmond won their flags.

    That move has since been justified, with Richmond and Riewoldt both clearly better for that tweak to his role. Riewoldt might not be winning the Coleman anymore, but he's playing the most selfless and influential footy of his career.

    There are other examples.

    Last year, Geelong captain Joel Selwood one of the toughest ball-winners of the modern game was moved to the wing.

    He still played some decent footy, but after seeing his return to the centre-square last week, I believe he should never be dragged away from the coalface again.

    Of course, we don't know all the reasons coaches make these decisions. Was Selwood under a fitness cloud last year?

    His move to the wing also meant someone such as Tim Kelly could blossom.

    We see what's in front of us, where coaches are always looking to the future. But not all on-ballers can move to a wing or forward at the end of their career and do what someone like Gary Ablett is doing at Geelong.

    Back on the Bulldogs, and there have been a number of question marks over certain selections in the past 12 months.

    Last year, Tom Liberatore and Josh Dunkley were tried at half-forward, but clearly look more suited to the grunt work in the middle.

    Last week, Jack Macrae All-Australian in 2019 playing mainly as an on-baller was shifted to the wing for much of the first half. He didn't attend one centre bounce in the first quarter.

    From the outside it may have been to cover the absence of Lachie Hunter, but those types of changes can upset both a midfield's synergy and the player's psyche.

    There are a number of other questions, whether it be about the lack of ruck support for young big man Tim English, who's been beaten badly in the opening two rounds, or the decision to leave a player like Zaine Cordy out of the back six.

    But Beveridge still has the opportunity to orchestrate what would be one of the great wins, against GWS on Friday night.

    It only takes one moment, or one gritty victory to kickstart a season and this match could be the making of the Dogs. While they've struggled to score, we know from the back half of last year they can be a scoring machine.

    And while they sent out the second youngest team in the AFL in round two, they're certainly stronger this year after the additions of Josh Bruce and Alex Keath.

    The Dogs hit 2020 with top-four aspirations but should they fall to 0-3 in a 17-game season, I think they can say goodbye to any hopes of playing finals.
    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: Does Luke Beveridge need to switch up his approach with the Bulldogs?

    Fair article
    Macrae is not a wingman
    If you’re going to replace hunter , you have a few options
    Suckling , Hayes , even Daniel .

  3. #3
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    Re: Does Luke Beveridge need to switch up his approach with the Bulldogs?

    I'd forgotten about Libba being a forward.

    There is a serious case for just letting players play in their natural positions. Wouldn't that help a little?

  4. #4
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    Re: Does Luke Beveridge need to switch up his approach with the Bulldogs?

    I recon he just read WOOF and put together a fair summary.

    JT in back line, Hayes or McClean on the wing, Libba in the guts And we are a far better balanced side
    BB.

    2020 vision = Bulldogs win another flag.

  5. #5
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    Re: Does Luke Beveridge need to switch up his approach with the Bulldogs?

    Bravo is starting to remind me of McCartney.

  6. #6
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    Re: Does Luke Beveridge need to switch up his approach with the Bulldogs?

    I don’t think Gordon has the balls of Kennett, however we could achieve the same result in sending the MC to the reserves for a freshen up.

    I recon 4 or 5 Woofers should be able to hold the fort for a few weeks at the selection table. ��
    BB.

    2020 vision = Bulldogs win another flag.

  7. #7
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    Re: Does Luke Beveridge need to switch up his approach with the Bulldogs?

    Quote Originally Posted by G-Mo77 View Post
    I'd forgotten about Libba being a forward.

    There is a serious case for just letting players play in their natural positions. Wouldn't that help a little?
    Yes......this is a big part of the problem

  8. #8
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    Re: Does Luke Beveridge need to switch up his approach with the Bulldogs?

    Quote Originally Posted by G-Mo77 View Post
    I'd forgotten about Libba being a forward.

    There is a serious case for just letting players play in their natural positions. Wouldn't that help a little?
    We have too many of the same types of high quality players. So the issue is, do you drop better players for positional players and sacrifice some midfield versatility for instance, or do you take the versatility in the middle and hope the players rotating through there can contribute elsewhere?

    I don't have the answer, but things were made a lot easier in determining who should be in our midfield last year when Libba wasn't playing (the Gowers in centre bounces experiment notwithstanding!). Same in defence when Daniel wasn't and there wasn't a spot up the ground for him given we have too many of the same types of quality players!

    Jackson can definitely play on a wing, it just might take more than one game for him to adjust. He can hurt with hand and foot, is better than not bad overhead, and can be defencive if he wants to be. Carey using this as an example of why the coach needs to have a look at himself is off the mark, and by and by, we only lost the clearance count by three last week with St Kilda just being more efficient in front of the sticks and having it too easy in transition.

  9. #9
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    Re: Does Luke Beveridge need to switch up his approach with the Bulldogs?

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    we only lost the clearance count by three last week with St Kilda just being more efficient in front of the sticks and having it too easy in transition.

    Nah, the selections were all wrong

    Of the three losses, last week, was the best performance, where we matched St Kilda all over the ground except goals from turnovers. This makes me think with a bit of tweaking we can turn things around.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  10. #10
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    Re: Does Luke Beveridge need to switch up his approach with the Bulldogs?

    I gotta say, despite what any stats say, we never looked like winning last weeks game. And it’s not as though the saints set the world on fire. The goals from turnovers were bad but this wasn’t the only reason we lost by 7 goals and have only managed to kick 12 goals in two whole games. We have loads of work to do. I do agree we can turn it around as to my eye a lot of the problems stem from work rate and concentration. It’ll be a question of whether the cattle on the park actually have it in them.

  11. #11
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    Re: Does Luke Beveridge need to switch up his approach with the Bulldogs?

    The losses of M Boyd Morris Picken Roughead and Wood has put a huge dent in our on field leadership since 2016. The return of Libba Maclean and Cordy tonight should help.
    GWS now further weakened tonight with Kelly out on top of Greene.

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