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  1. #1
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    Bontempelli now aerial threat:

    Bontempelli now aerial threat:



    Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has hailed the leadership of Marcus Bontempelli, suggesting the first-year captain has taken his game to another level.

    There are just six rounds remaining in the shortened AFL season, meaning Saturday's match between eighth-placed Melbourne and the 10th-placed Bulldogs is a quintessential eight-point game in the run to finals.

    Mystery surrounds whether Bulldogs ruckman Tim English will be cleared to play after hurting his ankle in the Dogs' last-start win over Adelaide.

    English trained on Thursday, but Beveridge noted he still needs to pull up well on Friday to play.

    Beveridge was likewise cagey about whether Jason Johannisen, Josh Bruce, Laitham Vandermeer, Hayden Crozier and Matt Suckling will return against the Demons.

    "I'll reserve our right to be protective," he said.

    The 2016 premiership coach was more forthcoming when asked about the development of Bontempelli, whose dominance of the Crows helped the Bulldogs snap a three-game losing streak.

    The 24-year-old booted two goals in that game, having repeatedly showed this season he can be a handful in the Dogs' forward line.

    "He has had to grow into his captaincy responsibilities," Beveridge said.

    "And juggle an inauspicious start to the year as a team, to try to lead through action and words. He has come through that with flying colours.

    "What he has added to his game this year ... is an aerial component. It has sort of been there in the background, but he hadn't really established himself as an aerial threat.

    "He has taken more contested marks in recent times ... we do it (play Bontempelli as a forward) here and there, it's also to manage the load through that midfield as well."

    Bontempelli's showdown with Christian Petracca at Metricon Stadium shapes as the headline bout between two impressive midfields.

    "They've really got the ball rolling in there. Some of their mids have hit go on their match-winning potential," Beveridge said.

    "It'll be a good game within a game. Hopefully we can take some control there, like we did last week, and that'll influence the outcome."
    Start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone.
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  3. #2
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    Re: Bontempelli now aerial threat:

    '' suggesting the first-year captain has taken his game to another level.''

    Has Bevo been watching the same games we have because I swear this is Bont's worst year of playing since being with us...
    Ted Whitten "Winners are grinners and losers can please themselves"

  4. #3
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    Re: Bontempelli now aerial threat:

    I've mentioned a few times his marking seems much better this year. It really is another little string to his already large bow
    Western Bulldogs: 2016 Premiers

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  6. #4
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    Re: Bontempelli now aerial threat:

    Quote Originally Posted by Vred View Post
    '' suggesting the first-year captain has taken his game to another level.''

    Has Bevo been watching the same games we have because I swear this is Bont's worst year of playing since being with us...
    Sorry but that is just rubbish. Bont wasn't half the player he is now in his first couple of years.

    His form has been up and down along with the team and at times he has coped an awful lot of attention (not all legal) from the opposition. Bont is often compared to Cripps who has had a very similar year.

    Because he is so good he is held to an almost impossible level compared to most other players.

  7. #5
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    Re: Bontempelli now aerial threat:

    Bontempelli becoming a 'complete player'

    Marcus Bontempelli is already regarded as a "Rolls-Royce" by Western Bulldogs supporters. And for good reason. The smooth-moving playmaker is a premiership star, dual All-Australian and three-time Charlie Sutton medallist.

    But in an ominous warning to rivals, coach Luke Beveridge says his captain has added a new strength that has him becoming a "really complete player".

    In his first year as skipper, Bontempelli, 24, has had several challenges to deal with, not the least helping his side adjust to life in a quarantine hub. The Dogs have twice lost matches in bunches, the most recent a three-game skid before rebounding against the winless Crows last weekend.

    Bontempelli was instrumental in the match, with 33 disposals, including 12 clearances and 11 score involvements, enough to earn him the full 10 votes in the AFL Coaches Association award. Now comes the challenge of a rejuvenated Melbourne at Metricon Stadium on Saturday.

    Aside from his on-ball duties, he is also likely to spend time up forward, where he has made good use of his height, an imposing 193 centimetres, to become a major aerial threat.

    "I have said in the past that our midfield is so interconnected that when one or two of them has a down day, it effects the rest of us, and the flow on is we are really on the back foot as a team," Beveridge said on Thursday.

    "He has been very, very influential this year, Marcus. He has had to grow into his captaincy responsibilities and bones and juggle an inauspicious start to the year as a team to try to lead through action and words. He has come through that with flying colours.

    "We had him forward at different times ... and that is not necessarily an intention we want to follow through on. We want to do it here and there to manage the load through that midfield area as well.

    "What Marcus probably doesn't get strong acknowledgment for is what he does when he doesn't have the ball in his hands. His game last week was such a rounded performance.

    "What he has added to his game this year, and probably started from the Sydney Swans game, is an aerial component. It has sort of been there in the background but he hasn't really established himself as an aerial threat. Now, he has taken more contested marks in recent times and he can actually impose himself in different situations, where he hasn't necessarily in the past.

    "He is becoming a really complete player."

    Those aerial marks mean he can have a greater impact on the scoreboard. He had two goals against the Swans in round four and had a season-high six marks against the Crows, with another two majors. But the statistics show his development remains a work in progress.

    He has seven marks inside 50, ranked seventh at the Dogs. This is similar to last season when he had nine marks inside 50 through the opening 12 rounds. He averages one contested mark per game almost identical to last season.

    That key forward Aaron Naughton is back means the Bulldogs have their prime marking target inside 50, and he could have Josh Bruce, rested last week, by his side this weekend. But with a menacing Bontempelli added to the list, the Dogs should no longer have scoring issues.

    Hard-running playmaker Jason Johannisen (ankle) appears likely to return but ruckman Tim English (ankle) needs to pull up well from training on Thursday to take his spot. English has played every match this season but Beveridge said the Demons' ruck injury woes would not influence whether English played.

    The Dogs are outside the top eight by two points and time is ticking on their finals hopes. With five rounds remaining, Beveridge wouldn't say how many wins he thinks the Dogs need but with the Demons, Geelong, West Coast, Hawthorn and then Fremantle to come, they will probably need to salute in at least four matches.

    The midfield match-ups against the Demons, who have won three straight albeit against the struggling Crows and Kangaroos and the injury-hit Magpies, will be crucial.

    Dogs "influencer" Lachie Hunter made a strong return against the Crows in his first senior match in five weeks, having 29 disposals and nine score involvements, and made a point he had no intention of leaving the club by emotionally grabbing his guernsey after slotting a goal in the third term.

    "They [Melbourne] have really got the ball moving there, some of their mids have hit 'go' on their match-winning potential. We saw Clayton Oliver play a very, very good game over in Adelaide in recent times and, obviously, there is some uncertainty with their ruck situation and how they might enter the game," Beveridge said.

    Making his mark
    Where Bontempelli ranks at his club in 2020
    Disposals: 2nd
    Handballs: 2nd
    Contested possessions: 2nd
    Contested marks: 2nd
    Uncontested possessions: 3rd
    Clearances: 1st
    Tackles: 1st
    Inside-50s: 2nd
    Score involvements: 2nd

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  9. #6
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    Re: Bontempelli now aerial threat:

    Becoming a complete player? Is it 2015? IS STRINGER BACK???
    - Goldstein for 2021 First -

  10. #7
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    Re: Bontempelli now aerial threat:

    Quote Originally Posted by Axe Man View Post
    Sorry but that is just rubbish. Bont wasn't half the player he is now in his first couple of years.

    His form has been up and down along with the team and at times he has coped an awful lot of attention (not all legal) from the opposition. Bont is often compared to Cripps who has had a very similar year.

    Because he is so good he is held to an almost impossible level compared to most other players.
    Bont has been exceptional since the Port game but he was well below his best up to and including the Richmond game. He is (and he should be) marked hard because he is genuinely an elite player of the competition. He hit those heights only intermittently in the first 9 rounds.
    "You've got no fear of The Underdog, that's why you will not survive"
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  11. #8
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    Re: Bontempelli now aerial threat:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sedat View Post
    Bont has been exceptional since the Port game but he was well below his best up to and including the Richmond game. He is (and he should be) marked hard because he is genuinely an elite player of the competition. He hit those heights only intermittently in the first 9 rounds.
    Probably just coming good now. Form and fitness.

    It's clear that unencumbered he's the best player in the league. He's not Dusty, sure, I mean nobody other than Dusty is but our guy does everything.

  12. #9
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    Re: Bontempelli now aerial threat:

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    Probably just coming good now. Form and fitness.

    It's clear that unencumbered he's the best player in the league. He's not Dusty, sure, I mean nobody other than Dusty is but our guy does everything.
    Dusty is the only bloke I know who gets free kicks for someone planting their face on his elbow.
    Bring back the biff

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