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  1. #1
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    Where does our improvement come from in 2022?

    You often hear that if aren't improving in the AFL then you are actually going backwards so with that in mind where does our improvement come from in 2022 so that we remain a top 4 team?

    For this one I start looking at the back line options:

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    During the trade period we added Tim OBrien who probably helps our back line and provides us with a bit more height than our normal approach of playing two talls out of Keath, Gardner and Cordy and asking the likes of Wood, Williams or Crozier to play that 3rd tall defenders role. I think that could be a genuine benefit for us leaving us less exposed when opposition teams load up on taller forwards against us. O'Brien is athletic enough to play on the more mid sized opposition players as well. We also have Schache who could be used to cover any injuries to our taller backs. Khamis, Crozier and Butler round out the coverage for the mid sized defenders.

    We lost Wood and Young from the back line options gaining OBrien.

    The big question mark is:
    We got a lot of drive from Duryea, Williams and Dale and as normal Daniel added a lot of poise to our back line.
    With Richards probably also best suited to a role across half back could Daniel or Williams be a chance to move more into midfield duties in 2022?

    I'd really appreciate the chance to hear where we might improve our back line results in 2022?
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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  3. #2
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    Re: Where does our improvement come from in 2022?

    I think we improve with the addition of O'Brien as he seems fit for purpose.

    A big improvement could come from better availability with Gardner a key as an improver. I also think the development of Schache as an option who can go back improves us.
    Life is to be Enjoyed not Endured

  4. #3
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    Re: Where does our improvement come from in 2022?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog Joe View Post
    I think we improve with the addition of O'Brien as he seems fit for purpose.

    A big improvement could come from better availability with Gardner a key as an improver. I also think the development of Schache as an option who can go back improves us.
    Gardner can reach another level and I agree Schache provides us with some depth for the key position options.
    O'Brien will be given an extended period to prove his worth.

    What I like about our back line is that a number of the players are very good with their kicking skills and we have players capable of taking the game on. Gardner and O'Brien should help us out more when the ball is in the air.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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  6. #4
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    Re: Where does our improvement come from in 2022?

    I think that we are a better team with Richards' run and carry and McLean's smooth ball handling and disposal. O' Brien will add another player who can defend one on one and intercept which we have been a bit light on for the last couple of seasons. Marra will add some class up forward and I'm hoping that him and Schache can help cover the absence of Bruce who will be a big loss.

    Darcy is the big unknown. Will he walk into the team and play some good footy straight away or will he take a season to work his way into senior footy?
    Now is the winter of our discontent

  7. #5
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    Re: Where does our improvement come from in 2022?

    Sweet, Ugle-Hagan and O'Brien could make a big difference
    If you kicked five goals and Tom Boyd kicked five goals, Tom Boyd kicked more goals than you.

    Formerly gogriff

  8. #6
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    Re: Where does our improvement come from in 2022?

    Naughton’s goal kicking.

  9. #7
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    Re: Where does our improvement come from in 2022?

    I'll admit I'm worried.

    I don't know where our improvement comes from. TOB isn't exactly the name that changes an almost list into a premiership list, as canny as his DFA signing was.
    Bruce is a big loss, not just the goals but the fact he took the no 1 defender.

    The lack of elephant in the room - ruck. We seem to be backing Timmy in which is a very big question mark considering he was our no 2 late last year.
    Sweet's played a handful of games at AFL level and his late VFL form was so poor we took a fringe KPD and threw him into the ruck ahead of him, I actually think his reputation here far surpasses anything he has produced or is likely to produce, and Stef is cooked from an on field perspective. We have zero depth there.

    Our best bet for improvement is chaos forward of the centre. Most teams defend the high ball well, but with Bruce out all of the guys we rotate int he forwardline are actually very good at ground level - Naughton is better than any KPD on the ground, Cody, Garcia will play and he's a hard nut, Marra is seriously quick, McSteal will get games and is good for a goal + an assist a game just by reading opposition handballs, and Roarke Smith came from nowhere to play very good football at the end of the year. We're going to rotate some serious midfield talent there too - Treloar, Bailey Smith, Bont will rest forward.

    You can plan for the high ball (and given Naughton is the best contested marking player in the game, teams will do it) but how do you plan against the chaotic bounce of an oval ball with an A grade midfield running onto it if you manage to scrap it out of the F50?

    I don't think we have the personnel changes to improve, we have the potential exploitation of player attributes to bring some improvement. Then we hope like hell our ruck division holds up and we can find a no 2 KPD.
    Western Bulldogs: 2016 Premiers

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  11. #8
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    Re: Where does our improvement come from in 2022?

    Mofra, thanks for the detailed response.

    After our triumph in 2016 there was a fair belief that things would just click for us in 2017 and it never happened.
    After our terrific season this year I'm just a bit concerned that we didn't chase at least one more experienced player as an insurance.
    Can we reach the lofty heights again next year? We all hope so but the we need to get an idea of where that will happen for us.
    We need to see growth in a number of the younger players now to maintain the momentum from this year into next.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

  12. #9
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    Re: Where does our improvement come from in 2022?

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    Mofra, thanks for the detailed response.

    After our triumph in 2016 there was a fair belief that things would just click for us in 2017 and it never happened.
    After our terrific season this year I'm just a bit concerned that we didn't chase at least one more experienced player as an insurance.
    Can we reach the lofty heights again next year? We all hope so but the we need to get an idea of where that will happen for us.
    We need to see growth in a number of the younger players now to maintain the momentum from this year into next.
    Well, in terms of GF thumpings you have to go back to 83 to find a team that took the next step.
    Yes we were 19 points up in the third, but we got smashed in the ruck, our mids were out of position, and we didn't add any further ruck support, so...
    Western Bulldogs: 2016 Premiers

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  14. #10
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    Re: Where does our improvement come from in 2022?

    Our major improvement will come, off field, from thew new line coaches.
    I pray to god that a coach who was under Mr. Defensive (Lyon) will teach out midfield exactly how to play defensively and stop complete pants-down ownage of clearances.

    A new forward coach (maybe a little raw) will hopefully bring some new ideas to the forward line, and teach Naughton how to kick straight.

    I can see JUH taking another step, Naughton, JUH and English as our three tall forward for the year until Bruce is back, Naughton to take the number one defender and that leaves JUH and English to do their thing.

    Martin/Sweet will rotate games all year, I feel we'll be seeing alot of Sweet considering the club has given him a two year contract, do I think Sweet has the ability to be a better ruck than English with enough time put into him? Yes.
    "Its always good to win the Ashes test match'' - Libba, AFL Grand Final, 2016

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  16. #11
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    Re: Where does our improvement come from in 2022?

    Unfortunately, we missed an opportunity to improve in 2022 by denying Marra and Sweet more playing time this season.

    Our ruck situation is diabolical and will stop us from progressing.
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

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  18. #12
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    Re: Where does our improvement come from in 2022?

    Quote Originally Posted by comrade View Post
    Unfortunately, we missed an opportunity to improve in 2022 by denying Marra and Sweet more playing time this season.

    Our ruck situation is diabolical and will stop us from progressing.
    That seems a bit harsh. If we played Marra and Sweet would we have even made the GF? In what they showed, the MC had evidence they weren’t quite ready. We had one hand on a premiership cup half way through the GF so must have been doing a LOT right.

    Teams need to improve each year, that’s a given. Melbourne were a different side with continuity which allowed them to devise their extremely effective Lever-May setup.

    Sometimes I feel we were so close to winning that match and other times when I think back on it maybe it was only a Herculean effort from Bont that kept us close. We had so few winners, and that’s on more than just our shaky ruck setup.

    It’s been miserable and embarrassing seeing Melb fans gloat about the “toilet break minute” where they smashed us so comprehensively. I’d like to think motivation and pride will be an area of improvement for us, because those minutes could and should still be burning in our players minds.
    www.bulldogtragician.com A blog about being a lifelong fan of the Dogs and our quixotic attempt to replicate 1954. AND WE DID
    Author of "The Mighty West: the Bulldogs journey from daydream believers to premiership heroes"
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  19. #13
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    Re: Where does our improvement come from in 2022?

    Quote Originally Posted by The bulldog tragician View Post
    That seems a bit harsh. If we played Marra and Sweet would we have even made the GF? In what they showed, the MC had evidence they werenít quite ready. We had one hand on a premiership cup half way through the GF so must have been doing a LOT right.

    Teams need to improve each year, thatís a given. Melbourne were a different side with continuity which allowed them to devise their extremely effective Lever-May setup.

    Sometimes I feel we were so close to winning that match and other times when I think back on it maybe it was only a Herculean effort from Bont that kept us close. We had so few winners, and thatís on more than just our shaky ruck setup.

    Itís been miserable and embarrassing seeing Melb fans gloat about the ďtoilet break minuteĒ where they smashed us so comprehensively. Iíd like to think motivation and pride will be an area of improvement for us, because those minutes could and should still be burning in our players minds.
    Good Post.

    Mentally we hit the wall, after being locked in hotel rooms for 4 weeks and flying all over the countryside, Melbourne stepped up a notch and mentally it was the last straw. Make no mistake, it is all in the head.

    Improvement for 2022 will come from the younger players having more experience - Marra, Weightman, VDM, Garcia, Gardner, Naughton and the addition of O'Brien. Tim with another year under his belt, hopefully a full season of Treloar, Dunks to help in the middle and a more settled backline.

    This is not 2017 when we lost experienced GF players and then had to do a mini-rebuild for the following two years.

    We have a great list and we will be top 4. We can't be anything less as it takes it's toll as we found out in 2021.
    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.

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  21. #14
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    Re: Where does our improvement come from in 2022?

    If we have Melbourne's '21 injury run in '22 and they have ours.
    All the improvement needed.

  22. #15
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    Re: Where does our improvement come from in 2022?

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    Good Post.

    Mentally we hit the wall, after being locked in hotel rooms for 4 weeks and flying all over the countryside, Melbourne stepped up a notch and mentally it was the last straw. Make no mistake, it is all in the head.

    Improvement for 2022 will come from the younger players having more experience - Marra, Weightman, VDM, Garcia, Gardner, Naughton and the addition of O'Brien. Tim with another year under his belt, hopefully a full season of Treloar, Dunks to help in the middle and a more settled backline.

    This is not 2017 when we lost experienced GF players and then had to do a mini-rebuild for the following two years.

    We have a great list and we will be top 4. We can't be anything less as it takes it's toll as we found out in 2021.
    Additionally, we were top two for almost all the year, stood up mentally in three finals that were each tough and challenging in their own ways.

    I was interested (and anxious) about the stat of no side being beaten by so much, bouncing back the next year. While it worries me, I think last year was an extraordinary year and I don't think this was an 'ordinary' 70 point loss. The other blowout GFs if I remember rightly were inferior and overwhelmed sides that were never really in the hunt. I hope that's the case because the idea that, with a champion like Bont in our team and some fantastic young talent, we don't climb the mountain again is really painful.
    www.bulldogtragician.com A blog about being a lifelong fan of the Dogs and our quixotic attempt to replicate 1954. AND WE DID
    Author of "The Mighty West: the Bulldogs journey from daydream believers to premiership heroes"
    Twitter @bulldogstragic

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