Thanks Thanks:  1
Likes Likes:  1
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Doglands
    Posts
    29,245
    Post Thanks / Like

    Can we pass the big test?




    Scott Gullan put's the focus on us

    The Western Bulldogs were at the centre of one of the biggest trade stories in recent years when they snapped up Adam Treloar from Collingwood.

    They were then front and centre again during the 2020 draft by landing the promising Jamarra Ugle-Hagan at No.1. Take a look at our club deep dive to see if it all adds up to a promising year ahead.


    Aaron Naughton:

    It‘s a simple equation for the Dogs. They’re bursting at the seams with talented mids and smalls which is why how the big man department fairs looms as the most intriguing storyline at the Whitten Oval. The jewel in the crown here is “Air” Naughton, potentially the best contested grab in the game. Coming into his fourth season, the 21-year-old should be ready to explode but where is his best position? There’s no doubt he can play key forward but could he be a matchwinning centre half-back? Definitely food for thought for Luke Beveridge.



    Tim English:

    That Essendon game: It‘s three words every Bulldogs keeps whispering with excitement when it comes to the young star ruckman. In Round 7 last year English exploded, completely dominating Essendon with 22 disposals, eight score involvements and six hit-outs to advantage. It was one of the best big man performances of the season. The problem for the 23-year-old was he got tired as the season progressed under the strain of being one-out. With an experienced back-up brought in, watch for more English up forward and hopefully more Essendon-type games.

    Josh Bruce:

    Would have to be the top three in voting of career crashes in the crazy COVID 2020 season. Bruce was seen as a smart recruit, an experienced forward – he kicked 36 goals in 2019 for St Kilda – who would play a crucial support role to young gun Aaron Naughton. After kicking six against North Melbourne in Round 5 the plan looked on track but then the wheels fell off. He managed just six goals in the next 12 games and had Dogs fans begging for his omission. Needs a career resurrection this season.

    Stefan Martin:


    Had been a star at Brisbane until injuries hit and others went past him last year. The former Demon had been a constant at the emerging Lions, playing 73 games straight, including his first finals appearance in 2019, before his run of luck ended early in 2020. If he can regain that consistency with his 34-year-old body then Martin will play a critical role at the Whitten Oval as the experienced guiding hand to Tim English.

    Alex Keath:

    A consistent debut season at the Dogs, finishing sixth in the best and fairest. Was forced to play more lockdown role given the lack of size in the Dogs defence and it will interesting to see if Beveridge tries to release him more to his strength which was intercept marking at the Crows. The run and carry out of defence isn‘t an issue given the breakout seasons of Caleb Daniel and Bailey Williams which is why there’s a lot riding on Keath to stand up again as the No.1 tall defender.

    Jamarra Ugle-Hagan:


    The next Buddy Franklin was all Dogs fans needed to hear about the No.1 draft pick. A tall mobile goalkicking forward with a punishing left foot sounds fairly similar. Clearly it will take some time for his body to adjust but in a perfect world Ugle-Hagan making his presence felt in the second half of the season as a dangerous second or third tall forward would be the icing on the cake for a team that should be contending.

    BEST 22 FOR ROUND 1

    B: Easton Wood Zaine Cordy Bailey Williams

    HB: Jason Johannisen Alex Keath Caleb Daniel

    C: Lachie Hunter Marcus Bontempelli Adam Treloar

    HF: Laitham Vandermeer Aaron Naughton Tom Liberatore

    F: Mitch Wallis Josh Bruce Josh Dunkley

    R: Tim English Jack McCrae Bailey Smith

    Int: Bailey Dale, Hayden Crozier, Stefan Martin, Ed Richards

    INS: Adam Treloar (trade), Stefan Martin (trade), Mitch Hannan (trade), Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (draft), Dominic Bedendo (draft), Lachlan McNeil (rookie draft), Anthony Scott (pre-season selection)

    OUTS: Tory Dickson (retired), Billy Gowers (delisted), Fergus Greene (delisted), Sam Lloyd (retired), Brad Lynch (delisted), Callum Porter (delisted), Matt Suckling (delisted), Jackson Trengove (delisted), Lachie Young (trade)

    CHAMPION DATA

    The good: The Dogs springboard from the defence to attack is the best in the game and they were ranked No.1 for generating an inside 50 from 26% of their defensive 50 chains.

    The bad: Got scored against too easily, conceding a score from 43% of their oppositions inside 50s – ranked 15th. Also ranked 14th at allowing their opposition to generate an inside 50 from a defensive 50 chain.

    Prediction after six rounds: Six wins, 0 losses

    R1 v Collingwood (MCG) – W

    R2 v West Coast (Marvel) – W

    R3 v North Melbourne (Marvel) – W

    R4 v Brisbane Lions (Mars Stadium) – W

    R5 v Gold Coast (Marvel) – W

    R6 v GWS Giants (Manuka Oval) – W

    Six-zip is not a silly statement about the Dogs’ dream opening draw. The only interstate trip is to Canberra to play the Giants who are expected to be more vulnerable than in recent years. West Coast and the Brisbane Lions are potentially top-four teams but playing them at Marvel Stadium and Ballarat respectively swings it back in the Dogs’ favour. If they can stand the heat of the season opener on the big Friday night stage at the MCG against Collingwood, then look out.

    CRYSTAL BALL

    The Dogs have top-four written all over them given the addition of Treloar, Martin and No.1 draft pick Ugle-Hagan. The retention of Josh Dunkley was also crucial and means they will have the best midfield rotation in the competition. Getting it all the gel will be the challenge for Luke Beveridge who seems to have made all the right moves over the summer with Martin standing up as a back-up for English potentially the biggest game-changer of the lot.

    Predicted finish:
    Top four
    "There are Sharks and Minnows in this World and if you don't know which one you are then you aint a Shark"

  2. Thanks azabob thanked for this post
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Doglands
    Posts
    29,245
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Can we pass the big test?

    Robbo puts the focus on us

    ROBBO’S LIKES AND DISLIKES


    Herald Sun chief football writer Mark Robinson tackles the Doggies.

    LIKES

    Arguably had the best midfield in the competition in 2020 and have added ball magnet Adam Treloar and ruckman Stef Martin. And Bailey Smith will be better again, which is super exciting. The roll‑on move by recruiting Martin allows Tim English to play more minutes as a key forward, which straight away stretches the opposition defences. Martin, too, will play forward, and the kid, Jamarra Ugle‑Hagan, will see time, so questions will be asked of Josh Bruce. If he rescues his career and becomes a threat then maybe Aaron Naughton heads back to D50. Am excited about the Dogs, but have been saying that every March since 2017.

    DISLIKES


    The time’s come to stop calling them the young Dogs and, anyway, the age profile lifts with Martin and Treloar. Three Saints talls — Paddy Ryder, Tim Membrey, Max King — kicked six of their team’s 10 goals in the elimination final, so there is concern at the back. Does the coach persevere with Ryan Gardner or pull the trigger on Naughton? Maybe Bruce back. Maybe Bruce doesn’t play at all. They’re the biggest tease in the comp, the Dogs, and only have consecutive elimination finals losses to their name in the past two seasons. Time to play consistent big‑boys footy again, not that circle work we saw against the Saints at the Gabba.

    VERDICT

    Yep, like them. Push top four.

    BURNING QUESTIONS ANSWERED

    Fox Footy experts Nick Riewoldt, David King, Leigh Montagna and Jordan Lewis join Robbo to give their predictions for 2021 on the Bulldogs:

    ROBBO: The most curious team in the competition. Where do you think they will travel to this year?

    KINGY: I think they’re a real chance this year. They flick the ball around and they have a unique game plan. High energy and high handball, plus they have the midfield depth now with Adam Treloar coming in. I think Naughton gets the ability to go back now with Ugle-Hagan coming in. I think they’ll have a better spine for that. Josh Bruce had an awful year and if he can regather some form I think they’re forward 50 could look quite exciting. Too much was left to Mitch Wallis last year, who was an undersized full forward. For him to be their main target up forward was an indictment on the rest of that group.

    JOEY: Up forward, that improvement comes from Ugle-Hagan, and Mitch Hannan has some good traits coming across from Melbourne. And now with Stefan Martin in the side, it means Tim English can play more forward. And I think he looks good as a forward. Bruce can’t have any worse of a year than he did last year. Question for Kingy, you believe Naughton will go back and they won’t stick with him as their No.1 forward?

    KINGY: It hasn’t worked. He took 19 marks inside 50 for the year.

    ROOEY: And the only time he marks it is when the ball is actually not kicked to him and he’s able to float in from the side. Having said that, it’s tough playing as a forward in the Bulldogs’ forward line. And that’s because the way they flick the ball around, you wouldn’t know when to go.

    JOEY: They’re unique in how they play. It’s different to pretty much to every team in the comp.

    ROBBO: Jordan, how do you assess the Bulldogs?

    JORDAN: I feel like if they can get a more forward half type of game by keeping their forwards set, I think they’ll become a better side.

    KINGY: I think in 2020 we saw a big gap between Marcus Bontempelli’s best and his worst. We hadn’t seen that in years gone by. He had a strange season. There were times when we thought, ‘Wow, he can do anything this guy’. And at other times he didn’t have an impact.

    JOEY: Is he still the No.1 mid? Or now that they’ve got Treloar, Dunkley, Libba, Macrae, Bailey Smith, is he better to be used in that front-half role?

    KINGY: I couldn’t agree more and I’d put Ugle-Hagan down there as well and get the captain to steer him around.

    ROBBO: Verdicts?

    JORDAN: Anywhere from seventh to 10th.

    JOEY: I think they play finals, around sixth to eighth.

    KINGY: Definitely finals and I could see them in the top four.

    ROOEY: In the race for those spots between sixth and eighth.
    "There are Sharks and Minnows in this World and if you don't know which one you are then you aint a Shark"

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Doglands
    Posts
    29,245
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Can we pass the big test?

    It appears that many in the media are very positive towards our prospects this year.
    No more softly, softly with expectations so the pressure will be on us to perform

    I share their optimism.
    "There are Sharks and Minnows in this World and if you don't know which one you are then you aint a Shark"

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    E.J. Whitten Stand
    Posts
    13,443
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Can we pass the big test?

    I agree more with Riewoldt and Montagna that we’re making up numbers at the bottom of the 8, but Riewoldt saying Naughton can’t take marks without floating in from the side is pretty weird.
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Bendigo
    Posts
    7,540
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Can we pass the big test?

    Quote Originally Posted by comrade View Post
    I agree more with Riewoldt and Montagna that we’re making up numbers at the bottom of the 8, but Riewoldt saying Naughton can’t take marks without floating in from the side is pretty weird.
    Not really. He goes on to say that how we mess around with the ball to much before going inside 50 so it would be difficult for him in that regard. He's spot on with assessment there.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    4,139
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Can we pass the big test?

    They didn't mention that if Naughton was Hawkins or Cameron he'd be leading the frees for.
    How many time does he get blocked and scragged when going for the ball.
    Last year was a write off for so many players and I question their head space during that season.
    If this season is a clear run and everything gets back to normal in a playing sense then we will have a better idea of where the team is and I think we can't go but an uncertain year.
    No excuses for the team as we are more experienced now so we need to perform. Even Ed Richards has over 50 games now so youth is in the minority.
    There are plenty of talented people in the world. As you already know, talent is not enough. Some of the athletes with the most potential never pan out. What separates the good from the great is determination and work ethic.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    The Kennel
    Posts
    2,983
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Can we pass the big test?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hotdog60 View Post
    They didn't mention that if Naughton was Hawkins or Cameron he'd be leading the frees for.
    How many time does he get blocked and scragged when going for the ball.
    Last year was a write off for so many players and I question their head space during that season.
    If this season is a clear run and everything gets back to normal in a playing sense then we will have a better idea of where the team is and I think we can't go but an uncertain year.
    No excuses for the team as we are more experienced now so we need to perform. Even Ed Richards has over 50 games now so youth is in the minority.
    Re age this article shows we are now in the middle of the pack re experience. No more excuses there agree.

    Older, wiser... better? Where your club ranks in the experience stakes - https://www.afl.com.au/news/556061

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wherever the dogs are playing
    Posts
    46,425
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Can we pass the big test?

    No excuses, top four otherwise a fail.
    FFC: 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.

  10. Likes 1eyedog liked this post
  11. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    4,179
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Can we pass the big test?

    Kingy boosting us for top-four pretty much puts a line through that particular scenario.
    BORDERLINE FLYING

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    11,829
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Can we pass the big test?

    I think we call winning a final the bare minimum, though I will be disappointed if we don't give ourselves a good chance to play in the last two weeks of the season.

    Nobody really focused on our vulnerability in defence to the extent they should with respect to personnel.

  13. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    north-west willy
    Posts
    1,279
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Can we pass the big test?

    Must win a final. With a caveat that we don't have horror injuries preceding and during that final.
    The team balance still looks a bit out of whack for mine.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •