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  1. #1
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    Jamarra Ugle-Hagan opens up on ‘frustrating’ debut season and support from the Fevolas

    https://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/a...6f4e982c518947

    Ahead of his second AFL game last weekend, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan drew a symbol on one of his footy boots.

    It was a stick figure, pointing its arm out across an oversized pot belly.

    The drawing was there to remind the first-year Western Bulldogs forward of advice that former Carlton and Brisbane champion Brendan Fevola had given him that week – “lead to the fat side of the ground”.

    After a goalless debut against Sydney a week earlier, Ugle-Hagan followed the advice against the Gold Coast Suns on his way to a three-goal game that had tongues wagging among Bulldogs fans.

    “After I kicked my first goal I didn’t believe it went in,” Ugle-Hagan said.

    “After it went through it hit me that, ‘Wow, I’m actually out here playing AFL footy’.

    “It’s pretty crazy coming from an indigenous community and then just going to a game and watching the boys run out and now realising that I’m doing that at the moment.”

    Ugle-Hagan describes Fevola as a second dad, who has been a key influence on his football this year.

    The 19-year-old is dating Fevola’s oldest daughter Mia, who has been his rock in a debut season that he admits has been “pretty frustrating at times”.

    Last year’s No. 1 draft pick has twice had injury setbacks this season with a dislocated thumb and then a concussion.

    He had to wait until Round 17 to make his AFL debut.

    “I’m lucky enough to have Mia beside me and the Fevola family are my family because it does get tough when it comes to selection,” Ugle-Hagan said.

    “To have Brendan as a dad is great because he was a gun key forward and he knows what he’s talking about. Mia’s been by my side the whole time. Even when it got tough, there would be days I’d have to speak to Jamie Maddocks (Western Bulldogs development manager) because he’s been there by my side the whole time as well. But Mia’s one behind the scenes. She’s supported me the whole way.”

    Unlike most No. 1 draft picks, Ugle-Hagan was selected by a team up the top of the ladder rather than the bottom.

    He also had to contend with the fact that he was lacking match fitness after his final year of underage football with Oakleigh Chargers in the NAB League was scrapped last year due to Covid.

    “Coming in as a No. 1 draft pick was a lot of pressure and then I was coming into a great team,” Ugle-Hagan said.

    “Fitness wasn’t my strength and it still isn’t. I’m still doing extra running even though I’m playing. I still just want to keep building my tank up so I can become elite during my career, which will make it a lot easier for me.”

    Known as ‘Marra’ at Whitten Oval, Ugle-Hagan requested that coach Luke Beveridge check in with him each week that he wasn’t selected.

    He wanted regular updates on where he stood and what he still needed to do to get a senior game. Beveridge happily obliged and Ugle-Hagan took all of the feedback on board.

    “With Bevo, I’m glad he didn’t play me for a while because it made me work harder and not take things for granted and roll into a team and think I can play straight away,” Ugle-Hagan said.

    “It’s been good that I’ve had to work for it and now that I’m playing, I know that I’ve worked for every bit of it.”

    Along with plenty of advice from Fevola this year, some words of wisdom from former St Kilda forward Nick Riewoldt have also stuck with Ugle-Hagan.

    Riewoldt himself was a No. 1 draft pick and provided some words of wisdom in the weeks before Ugle-Hagan’s first match.

    “Riewoldt debuted in Round 15 of his first season,” Ugle-Hagan said.

    “He told me, ‘No one’s going to remember your first year, everyone’s going to remember your next 10 years’.”

    TRADE TALK

    Ugle-Hagan joined the Bulldogs on a two-year contract as a new draftee, but his absence from the senior side in the first half of the season raised questions about whether he could be a trade target for opposition clubs.

    The Bulldogs already had a pair of key forwards in Aaron Naughton and Josh Bruce and have been playing ruckman Tim English as a resting forward this year.

    The club is also set to have access to exciting father-son prospect Sam Darcy in this year’s draft, who is another key forward.

    Ugle-Hagan heard the outside noise about being a trade target but insists it was just that – noise.

    “With the trade talk, I feel like that’s going to happen to every player if they’re not playing,” Ugle-Hagan said.

    “Especially coming as pick one. Obviously other clubs are going to approach me if I’m not playing a game. But at the end of the day the Bulldogs have backed me in to become part of their club and I trust that I’m part of their future. So I’m going to stay loyal to the club at the Kennel. It’s just my first year. Just because I’m not playing, it doesn’t mean anything.”

    KICKING LIKE FEV


    Fox Footy commentator and former Hawthorn champion Dermott Brereton picked up a scary similarity between Ugle-Hagan and Fevola in the commentary box last Saturday.

    Producers later pulled together a split-screen, in slow-motion, which showed Ugle-Hagan’s set-shot goalkicking action side-by-side with Fevola’s.

    They were near identical – but it’s little more than a coincidence.

    “After watching that clip, it was unbelievable because I was like, ‘Wow, what are the odds of that happening?’” Ugle-Hagan said of the similarities.

    “I have watched Fev’s highlights before and I’ve watched how he holds the ball. I didn’t think I did that the same but once I watched that video, I was like, ‘Wow, it’s actually pretty much the same’.

    “We’ve been down to the park a couple of times. Me and Fev were just having kicks from the boundary and stuff and I was just watching what he does. But I think that just came naturally for me. We haven’t gone through any techniques yet, we would just had a little competition of who could slot it through from the boundary.”

    LIVING WITH THE FEVOLA’S

    Ugle-Hagan is the oldest of five boys in his family.

    The Fevola household has five girls.

    “It’s different,” Ugle-Hagan said.

    “They’re a great family. They’re loving and caring and they took me out for dinner after my first game which was unreal.”

    When they are not going out for dinner, former restaurant owner and radio personality Brendan Fevola is often doing the cooking.

    “He cooks unbelievable vegetables. I’ve never had anything better,” Ugle-Hagan said.

    “I’ll be coming home from a training session and he’ll have a roast cooked up for the family. It’s unreal.”

    But Ugle-Hagan likes to earn his keep and do the cleaning up, as well as occasionally doing some cooking of his own.

    “I feel uncomfortable if I’m not doing anything around the house,” he said.

    “I’ll clean up and do the dishes and pay my price for staying. When I grew up, my parents taught me to do that even though I hated doing the dishes at home. But when I’m at other people’s houses, I like to do that. I’ve cooked up meals as well and he (Fevola) doesn’t tell me they’re good because I think it likes to try and keep my head screwed on.”
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Jamarra Ugle-Hagan opens up on ‘frustrating’ debut season and support from the Fevolas

    Brilliant read that. Just needs to add in a contract extension.
    Sam Power: Great Sage, Equal Of Heaven

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    Re: Jamarra Ugle-Hagan opens up on ‘frustrating’ debut season and support from the Fevolas

    I can't help but be a little uneasy at the Fevola connection but I have to hand it to Jamarra he's certainly saying all the right things in that article. And who knows maybe Fev is exactly the perfect person to tell you what not to do in your AFL career as well as what to do.

    The best thing I read was about the extra fitness sessions he's doing. You'd expect it but I don't think we've ever heard it before.

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    Re: Jamarra Ugle-Hagan opens up on ‘frustrating’ debut season and support from the Fevolas

    Look, are we concerned because Fev isn't a Bulldog person? Maybe. But JUH is an amazing young talent and having an old head to help guide him, being a settled home environment are two massive things that someone coming into the AFL system needs and has.

    Overall positive.

  7. #5
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    Re: Jamarra Ugle-Hagan opens up on ‘frustrating’ debut season and support from the Fevolas

    You can be a bit of a dickhead but also in a lot of ways a good role model. The two aren't mutually exclusive.

    He's saying all the right things, apparently doing the right things with the extra running - which isn't something I'd heard about - and is in the side supposedly grateful according to him for having to work for it.

    A lot of negativity gets peppered around about us, and we here often think the worst, but this year and our situation with JUH is going well.

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  9. #6
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    Re: Jamarra Ugle-Hagan opens up on ‘frustrating’ debut season and support from the Fevolas

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    You can be a bit of a dickhead but also in a lot of ways a good role model. The two aren't mutually exclusive.

    He's saying all the right things, apparently doing the right things with the extra running - which isn't something I'd heard about - and is in the side supposedly grateful according to him for having to work for it.

    A lot of negativity gets peppered around about us, and we here often think the worst, but this year and our situation with JUH is going well.
    Zen Jeemak.

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  11. #7
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    Re: Jamarra Ugle-Hagan opens up on ‘frustrating’ debut season and support from the Fevolas

    Does Marra have family in Melbourne as well?

    It is a good read and he is coming across very positively, despite the image that the media tried to paint earlier in the year.

  12. #8
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    Re: Jamarra Ugle-Hagan opens up on ‘frustrating’ debut season and support from the Fevolas

    Quote Originally Posted by jazzadogs View Post
    Does Marra have family in Melbourne as well?

    It is a good read and he is coming across very positively, despite the image that the media tried to paint earlier in the year.
    I know his folks travel up from Warrnambool to attend things.

  13. #9
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    Re: Jamarra Ugle-Hagan opens up on ‘frustrating’ debut season and support from the Fevolas

    Good read - if he’s happy and well supported outside of the club that’s a great thing.
    Woof.

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    Re: Jamarra Ugle-Hagan opens up on ‘frustrating’ debut season and support from the Fevolas

    Fantastic read, thanks for sharing!

    Fev is either still an arrogant twat filling his head with unreasonable expectations, or a mature ex footballer who has learnt from his mistakes and know just what it takes to succeed at that level.

    Whichever it is - he sounds like he is getting valuable off field support there

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    Re: Jamarra Ugle-Hagan opens up on ‘frustrating’ debut season and support from the Fevolas

    Quote Originally Posted by AshMac View Post
    Fantastic read, thanks for sharing!

    Fev is either still an arrogant twat filling his head with unreasonable expectations, or a mature ex footballer who has learnt from his mistakes and know just what it takes to succeed at that level.

    Whichever it is - he sounds like he is getting valuable off field support there
    It's sounding increasingly like the latter.

  17. #12
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    Re: Jamarra Ugle-Hagan opens up on ‘frustrating’ debut season and support from the Fevolas

    Quote Originally Posted by westdog54 View Post
    It's sounding increasingly like the latter.
    I always felt that Fev was a massive knob with a good heart.

    If he's actually grown up a bit then maybe he's less of a knob now.
    "It's over. It's all over."

  18. #13
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    Re: Jamarra Ugle-Hagan opens up on ‘frustrating’ debut season and support from the Fevolas

    Few concerning things there, the narrative around not getting a game which I thought was more media driven but is now coming from his mouth, and having a role model that gambled away his marriage
    If you kicked five goals and Tom Boyd kicked five goals, Tom Boyd kicked more goals than you.

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  20. #14
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    Re: Jamarra Ugle-Hagan opens up on ‘frustrating’ debut season and support from the Fevolas

    Quote Originally Posted by boydogs View Post
    Few concerning things there, the narrative around not getting a game which I thought was more media driven but is now coming from his mouth, and having a role model that gambled away his marriage
    I'm fine with him being desperate to play and seeking out feedback on what areas of his game need to improve to get into the team. Unless I'm not seeing the passage you're referring to seems fine to me

  21. #15
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    Re: Jamarra Ugle-Hagan opens up on ‘frustrating’ debut season and support from the Fevolas

    Quote Originally Posted by hujsh View Post
    I'm fine with him being desperate to play and seeking out feedback on what areas of his game need to improve to get into the team. Unless I'm not seeing the passage you're referring to seems fine to me
    I would hope every player on the list who is not getting a game is banging on the coaches door asking what they need to do to get their opportunity, if they aren't I'm not sure why they're on the list.

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