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    Adam Treloar poses questions about Bulldogs’ midfield mix

    AFL 2021 preview: Addition of Adam Treloar poses questions about Bulldogs’ midfield mix

    Adam Treloar will add to the Bulldogs already stacked midfield but what does that mean for captain Marcus Bontempelli? The big questions facing Luke Beveridge.

    The Bulldogs haven’t won a final since that stunning run to the 2016 premiership and while they’ve been a young side under Luke Beveridge, it’s time for maturity.

    Does the addition of Adam Treloar make them a serious premiership threat? And what does his arrival mean for Marcus Bontempelli?

    Then there’s No.1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan. The Bulldogs have told fans to be patient but with so much buzz around him, surely he gets a gig in Round 1 — it’s just a matter of where Beveridge plays him.

    Jon Ralph answers the big questions facing the Bulldogs heading into 2021.

    OFF-SEASON

    INS: Adam Treloar, Mitch Hannan, Stef Martin, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (pick 1), Dominic Bedendo (pick 55), Lachlan McNeil (rookie draft)

    OUTS: Ben Cavarra (delisted), Tory Dickson (retired), Billy Gowers (delisted), Fergus Greene (delisted), Brad Lynch (delisted), Callum Porter (delisted), Matt Suckling (delisted), Jackson Trengove (delisted), Lachie Young (traded to North Melbourne)

    COACH STATUS

    Luke Beveridge is safe as houses with a contract through to 2023 and a stocked list that has no excuses for 2021 given the Dogs kept Josh Dunkley from joining Essendon and secured Adam Treloar from Collingwood. But since that remarkable four-win finals campaign of 2016, the Dogs haven’t won a final, crushed against GWS and then soundly beaten early by St Kilda but roaring home to get within four points in the one that got away. They seem to have been an eternally young side under Beveridge but season 2021 is time for maturity to kick in. As a coach, he won’t want to finish a one-flag wonder — even though that premiership will be considered one of the greats in history.

    GAME PLAN


    The Dogs were happy handballers again, first in handballs but only 15th in kicks as they again used a high-volume system to move the ball from end to end.

    But while their scoring profile was fine the troubles of Josh Bruce in his first year and an injury to Aaron Naughton meant the forward line at times stuttered. Surprisingly, Mitch Wallis returned a club-high 25 goals.

    They were 18th for hit-outs, a clear cause for concern. Tim English’s centre square ruck work was solid but he was often monstered around the ground, which saw the Dogs attempt all kinds of left-field solutions including Josh Dunkley in the ruck.

    That’s why recruiting Stef Martin was such a smart play.

    One key area of interest is how Beveridge will manage his multi-talented midfield now that Treloar adds to the mix. Will it tempt him to throw captain Marcus Bontempelli forward more often?

    THEIR 2020 DRAFT HAUL

    Will their draft kids make an impact? You better believe it. The Dogs keep preaching patience with Jamarra Ugle Hagan, stating quite rightly that he won’t be a fully-formed product for years. But those who know Ugle-Hagan believe his speed will make him a perfect third leading forward who can create mismatches behind Josh Bruce and Aaron Naughton. Mitch Hannan and Mitch Wallis should have a field day at times as well. His NAB League coach Leigh Clarke believes Ugle-Hagan is even adaptable enough to play wing or as an intercept defender in his early days as an AFL player. As he said, you don’t pick a player worth of the No.1 selection then ease him into the VFL so they will play him, it’s just a matter of where.

    TRADE TABLE REPORT

    The Dogs controversially kept Josh Dunkley but secured Adam Treloar as they also recruited experienced ruckman Stef Martin and former Dogs VFL players Mitch Hannan.

    Martin’s acquisition is massive — he is strong-bodied high-possession ruck who will help at the stoppages and also release English to play key forward at times. Luke Beveridge believes Hannan will play wing as well as forward. And clearly Treloar gives them another star midfielder who at his best bursts from stoppages and hits targets laces-out. But Beveridge will need to address his lack of goalpower. Back to the Bontempelli forward dilemma.

    PLAYERS THEY CAN REINVENT

    No coach likes versatile players more than Luke Beveridge, casting Mitch Wallis as a small forward, Josh Dunkley as a quasi-ruckman and Caleb Daniel as a half back.

    After a miserable 14.8 year from 17 games, will he at least trial Bruce as an intercept defender given he started his career down back? Or throw Naughton back at stages given the Dogs still need another marking back? And can Treloar make a difference at times off half back given there are so many mids Beveridge needs to find places to slot them into the best 22?

    READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP

    Bailey Smith is on the brink of stardom after 382-possession second season that earned him seventh placing in the best-and-fairest. The sky is the limit. Rhylee West added four games to his total after three in his debut year. He has all the attributes as a clever half forward but this is a hard team to break into. Tim English enters his fifth season and after 47 games his best is breathtaking but his week-to-week ceiling is still too low. But Dogs fans still believe he can be a Dean Cox-style ruckman if his development continues.

    BEST 22 FOR NEXT SEASON


    B: Easton Wood, Alex Keath, Hayden Crozier

    HB: Jason Johannisen, Zaine Cordy, Caleb Daniel

    C: Lachie Hunter, Tom Liberatore, Jackson Macrae

    HF: Josh Dunkley, Josh Bruce, Mitch Hannan

    F: Mitch Wallis, Aaron Naughton, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan

    R: Stef Martin, Adam Treloar, Bailey Smith

    INT: Tim English, Ed Richards, Bailey Williams, Laitham Vandermeer

    CHAMPION DATA SAYS

    Good: The Bulldogs generated an inside 50 from 26 per cent of their defensive 50 chains – ranked No.1 in the competition.

    Bad: They didn’t defend the back half of the ground well. They conceded a score from 43 per cent of their oppositions inside 50 entries – ranked 15th. They also ranked 14th at allowing their opposition to generate an inside 50 from a defensive 50 chain.

    FINISH THE LAST FIVE YEARS: 2016: 1st (premiers), 2017: 10th, 2018: 13th, 2019: 7th, 2020: 7th

    TAB PREMIERSHIP ODDS: $14. Top four: $4.50. Top eight: $1.80
    "There are Sharks and Minnows in this World and if you don't know which one you are then you aint a Shark"

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  3. #2
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    Re: Adam Treloar poses questions about Bulldogs’ midfield mix

    Geez, Bont is a bit stiff not to at least sneak onto the bench...
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

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    Re: Adam Treloar poses questions about Bulldogs’ midfield mix

    Quote Originally Posted by comrade View Post
    Geez, Bont is a bit stiff not to at least sneak onto the bench...
    I had a ping at him on the HUN. It will be adjusted soon
    "There are Sharks and Minnows in this World and if you don't know which one you are then you aint a Shark"

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    Re: Adam Treloar poses questions about Bulldogs’ midfield mix

    Martins disposal averages look like this:

    2014 - 22
    2015 - 21
    2016 - 16
    2017 - 17
    2018 - 18
    2019 - 16
    2020 - 7

    English averages 13 (and has every year since his first)
    Grundy dropped to 14 last year and before that was 21-20-18-18.

    I have no objection to Martin being described as a high possession player if we are getting the version from 2014/15. But he hasn't been a high possession ruck for quite a while...and if we have recruited the 2020 version, well...
    What should I tell her? She's going to ask.

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    Re: Adam Treloar poses questions about Bulldogs’ midfield mix

    Martin had a bad run with injuries this year so hopefully we get him like his 2018 season form line. It's a big ask but I think he was worth the risk providing we aren't still using a 'rebuild' as a way of explaining our fluctuating form.
    "There are Sharks and Minnows in this World and if you don't know which one you are then you aint a Shark"

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    Re: Adam Treloar poses questions about Bulldogs’ midfield mix

    So out of the team that Ralphy put together who comes out to bring Bontempelli in?
    Is there anyone else what should be in our best 22?
    "There are Sharks and Minnows in this World and if you don't know which one you are then you aint a Shark"

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    Re: Adam Treloar poses questions about Bulldogs’ midfield mix

    The Bont would have to be best 22 for sure!

    He just makes thing happen for us and can change a match so quickly.
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    Re: Adam Treloar poses questions about Bulldogs’ midfield mix

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastdog View Post
    The Bont would have to be best 22 for sure!
    I think there are 3 questionable selections in Ralphy's team

    I suspect Ugle-Hagan will be the unlucky one and perhaps Martin will have to earn his spot in front of English. Is Hannan a walk up start as well?

    Duryea must be unlucky and Gardner should be a starter given he was a preferred defender this year.
    "There are Sharks and Minnows in this World and if you don't know which one you are then you aint a Shark"

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    Re: Adam Treloar poses questions about Bulldogs’ midfield mix

    I read the title as Adam posing questions about our mix only to see its about the opinion of John Ralph. 2020 serves up one more disappointment.

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    Re: Adam Treloar poses questions about Bulldogs’ midfield mix

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    I think there are 3 questionable selections in Ralphy's team

    I suspect Ugle-Hagan will be the unlucky one and perhaps Martin will have to earn his spot in front of English. Is Hannan a walk up start as well?

    Duryea must be unlucky and Gardner should be a starter given he was a preferred defender this year.
    That was a costly mistake in 2020, he had one good game.

    If Martin gets 1st ruck English could easily be CHB or CHF. Marking, kicking and ground play are all superior to other contenders for both positions. Naughton could be either full forward or back.

    Once we decide not to be slaughtered in the ruck the unleashed talent should make the Dogs unstoppable.

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    Re: Adam Treloar poses questions about Bulldogs’ midfield mix

    Ralph has lost his marbles
    Established 1877
    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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    Re: Adam Treloar poses questions about Bulldogs’ midfield mix

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    I think there are 3 questionable selections in Ralphy's team

    I suspect Ugle-Hagan will be the unlucky one and perhaps Martin will have to earn his spot in front of English. Is Hannan a walk up start as well?

    Duryea must be unlucky and Gardner should be a starter given he was a preferred defender this year.
    Playing the Bont at Footscray early didn't do much damage to him, and I suspect easing JUH into the season won't do a lot of damage either. If he plays well in the practice matches it will put pressure on Bruce to perform, and could actually end up pushing Naughton back which is what I want to see (particularly if all of Bruce, English and Martin get a game and are contributing).

    I don't think Hannan is a walk up start, by any stretch. He adds support to our forward mix generally, but if Wallis and Dale are playing well, kicking goals and putting pressure on, and Vander is running hard and getting a bit of it then he's fringe. West has a bit of a say in how much opportunity Hannan gets, as does Weightman. I like him being recruited as it really sets up the small to mid-size forwards for healthy competition which is exactly what that area of the ground requires to keep folks hungry.

    The backline is still a bit of a quandary for mine. I just don't think having only Keath as our taller defender cuts the mustard, Gardner became safer as the year progressed though we also have Young and with a good preseason he would have claims for being included in the back six........and again, there's still Naughton to consider.

    I don't know whether we've actually gotten better in the off-season. We're definitely thicker with depth I think, though unless our core players improve with maturity and gel a bit more we could find ourselves in the same area of the ladder again and frustrated because of it.

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    Re: Adam Treloar poses questions about Bulldogs’ midfield mix

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    Playing the Bont at Footscray early didn't do much damage to him, and I suspect easing JUH into the season won't do a lot of damage either. If he plays well in the practice matches it will put pressure on Bruce to perform, and could actually end up pushing Naughton back which is what I want to see (particularly if all of Bruce, English and Martin get a game and are contributing).

    I don't think Hannan is a walk up start, by any stretch. He adds support to our forward mix generally, but if Wallis and Dale are playing well, kicking goals and putting pressure on, and Vander is running hard and getting a bit of it then he's fringe. West has a bit of a say in how much opportunity Hannan gets, as does Weightman. I like him being recruited as it really sets up the small to mid-size forwards for healthy competition which is exactly what that area of the ground requires to keep folks hungry.

    The backline is still a bit of a quandary for mine. I just don't think having only Keath as our taller defender cuts the mustard, Gardner became safer as the year progressed though we also have Young and with a good preseason he would have claims for being included in the back six........and again, there's still Naughton to consider.

    I don't know whether we've actually gotten better in the off-season. We're definitely thicker with depth I think, though unless our core players improve with maturity and gel a bit more we could find ourselves in the same area of the ladder again and frustrated because of it.
    Yes, we've got more than enough height on the list for key defenders with Gardner, Young and Keath all being 197cm and there has been a bit of speculation that Bruce might be tried as a defender as well although I doubt it and we have the option of moving Naughton back there as well. Then we have Cordy who I don't think is undersized either so we seem to have it covered
    I would have still liked us to draft a tall defender and we did bid on a player but probably ran out of options after that.

    Out back line has a great blend of experience, height, pace and creativity so the challenge is probably more about unlocking the potential there more than anything else
    "There are Sharks and Minnows in this World and if you don't know which one you are then you aint a Shark"

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    Re: Adam Treloar poses questions about Bulldogs’ midfield mix

    Going back to full length games and capped rotations means that we have two A midfield rotations. That's the answer to the question

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    Re: Adam Treloar poses questions about Bulldogs’ midfield mix

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    So out of the team that Ralphy put together who comes out to bring Bontempelli in?
    Is there anyone else what should be in our best 22?
    The contenders to be dropped are Ed, Wood and JUH.
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