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  1. #1
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    Bulldogs temper expectations on top draft pick Ugle-Hagan

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    Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has moved to temper expectations on No.1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, declaring the club will not “throw him to the wolves” despite an impressive VFL debut.

    Ugle-Hagan was a stand-out in the Bulldogs’ clash against Collingwood at Olympic Park on Friday, booting five goals and contributing to others in a performance which could have him under selection for a senior debut against the West Coast Eagles at Marvel Stadium next Sunday.

    However, Beveridge questioned whether the 191-centimetre, 91-kilogram forward was ready to handle the experienced opponents which await at the top level.

    “I watched our boys play Collingwood. He did some impressive things. It was the first time that he has played at the level where he has probably started to really show his real strengths and his gifts. That was fantastic for him and us,” Beveridge said.

    “It will all depend on his ability to get through games. He is not playing on a Jordan Roughead or a Darcy Moore or a Jeremy Howe. He is playing on a reasonably good player at state-league level, so we have to make sure he is ready. Next week we will have [Tom] Barrass and we will have [Jeremy] McGovern and these types. Is he ready for that? I don’t know. We can’t throw him to the wolves. We have to set him up to succeed, but some great signs.”

    Former skipper Easton Wood returned from a hamstring strain in the nine-point loss and appears set for a senior recall but Ed Richards was stretchered off with a right ankle injury and taken for scans.

    Richards is a hard-running midfielder but the AFL Bulldogs were superb in this area in their 16-point win over the Magpies at the MCG on Friday night.

    Bailey Smith was particularly impressive, enjoying 36 disposals, including two goals. Beveridge said the dashing playmaker, who has not missed a game since debuting in 2019, wanted to be elite.

    “He has played some terrific games for the club and he is determined. I said last year, he hasn’t missed a game yet ... he just works extremely hard and there are some elements of his game that he is really trying to improve,” he said.

    “For him to still hit the scoreboard is really important for us because he is a beautiful kick when he is at his best – just that ability to explode and run and distribute and his hands are getting better. He wants to be the best in the game and we are going to help him get there.”

    The decision to pursue veteran ruckman Stefan Martin in the off-season was an early success, for he was able to help Tim English in negating Brodie Grundy. The Magpies’ big man had polled 11 Brownlow Medal votes in the past four matches between the clubs but didn’t have his typical influence despite having 11 touches and easily winning the hit outs (39).

    “Stefan was huge for us in the end because Brodie Grundy has just given them the impetus the last few times that we played and it’s been difficult for our team to recover from his work. For Stef to do that, and I thought Tim’s ruck work was pretty good too when it was his turn to go in there, that’s a good result for us,” Beveridge said.

    “From a coaching point of view, it’s important that you [are] at least able to neutralise those situations. If ruckmen are able to flick it around and allow their midfield to be extremely assertive and pro-active in what they do, it is really disconcerting for your team.

    “That hasn’t happened all the time ... but we have needed to go to different things in the past to remedy that. As I have said in the past, we have won games off Marcus [Bontempelli] and Jack Macrae and Josh Dunkley spending some minutes in the ruck. If we can keep Tim and Stef fit together and playing in tandem, that’s, obviously, going to help.”
    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.

  2. #2
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    Re: Bulldogs temper expectations on top draft pick Ugle-Hagan

    He's in this week that's what I read

  3. #3
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    Re: Bulldogs temper expectations on top draft pick Ugle-Hagan

    1 bag of 5 is not exactly busting the door down.

    But if he has another 10-12 on the board over the next month then that is going to be hard to ignore.
    What should I tell her? She's going to ask.

  4. Likes strebla liked this post

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