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  1. #1
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    Have they got the balance right?

    Have they got the balance right? The burning questions for the Bulldogs in 2023



    With the 2022 AFL season complete, Kane Cornes and Garry Lyon have gone through all 18 clubs and come up with burning questions for each.

    The Bulldogs finished 8th in 2022, with a season of ups and downs being fittingly capped off by blowing a 41-point lead to Fremantle in an Elimination Final.

    Lyon asks have they got the balance right?

    “When I look at their recruiting, so from a forward-line point of view, they have Aaron (Naughton), they have (Jamarra) Ugle-Hagan, they have (Sam) Darcy, they have (Josh) Bruce, and they’ve added (Rory) Lobb, is that balanced?” he questioned on SEN Breakfast.

    “Sam Darcy, we’ve only seen him for four games but he looks like he’s going to be able to play, Ugle-Hagan has got to find the consistency but yes looked better as the season wore on.

    “Liam Jones will hold down the spot in defence… would you be throwing Naughton, is he the potential one to go back or not?”

    Cornes agrees that the Bulldogs do have an unbalanced team, however is excited by the “spine” of the list.

    “It doesn’t seem (balanced) on paper does it, you questioned whether they have plans for Darcy to play back and whether he’s going to be there for 10 years and play that role because I’m not sure how they all fit in,” he said.

    “They explained that pretty well I thought, Sam Power after the trade period, he said ‘look clearly we are excited about the future but those young players need some support now, and that’s where the Jones and the Lobb ones come in.’

    “They have the best young spine and most exciting spine in the game, Naughton and Ugle-Hagan… key position players, one of the two playing centre half-forward, Darcy at centre half-back I would have thought.

    “Lobb is going to be in there as well, you’ve got (Marcus) Bontempelli in the middle, it’s frightening… who has a better young and more exciting spine?”

    Despite being excited about their future, Cornes asks are the Bulldogs professional enough?

    “Are they a motivated, hungry group is my question... they want for nothing on their list, but there’s the intangibles,” he said.

    “Are they professional enough, I don’t know, I hear things about the Western Bulldogs.

    “They can win a premiership next year, provided those things sort themselves out.”

    Lyon voiced similar worries, viewing the departure of star Josh Dunkley as cause for concern.

    “Two words, Josh Dunkley… why was Josh Dunkley desperate to get out two years ago and desperate to get out (again)?” he asked.

    “You can say, ‘I want to live in Brisbane,’ two years ago he didn’t, two years ago he wanted to live 20 minutes down the road at Essendon.

    “I know (the Bulldogs would) deny it, but I’d love to put the lasso of truth around Josh Dunkley.

    “Everyone hears the same sort of stuff, but it’s the challenge now for Luke is to get this group back and if there are any issues there, culturally or otherwise.”
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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  3. #2
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    Re: Have they got the balance right?

    Cornes lists the following observations

    Despite being excited about their future, Cornes asks are the Bulldogs professional enough?

    “Are they a motivated, hungry group is my question... they want for nothing on their list, but there’s the intangibles,” he said.

    “Are they professional enough, I don’t know, I hear things about the Western Bulldogs.



    I think we have opened the door for these type of observations.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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    Re: Have they got the balance right?

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    Cornes lists the following observations

    Despite being excited about their future, Cornes asks are the Bulldogs professional enough?

    “Are they a motivated, hungry group is my question... they want for nothing on their list, but there’s the intangibles,” he said.

    “Are they professional enough, I don’t know, I hear things about the Western Bulldogs.



    I think we have opened the door for these type of observations.
    I think some of the best coaches walk that line between mate and mentor well.
    Lethal, Thompson, Clarkson, Scott...
    I do wonder if Bevo is too close with the players at times and so they'll take liberties others wouldn't.
    I mean we are trash talking Dunks but it probably should set off alarm bells.
    Maybe by getting rid of the players we did during trade period we've gone some way to addressing this.
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    Re: Have they got the balance right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grantysghost View Post
    I think some of the best coaches walk that line between mate and mentor well.
    Lethal, Thompson, Clarkson, Scott...
    I do wonder if Bevo is too close with the players at times and so they'll take liberties others wouldn't.
    I mean we are trash talking Dunks but it probably should set off alarm bells.
    Maybe by getting rid of the players we did during trade period we've gone some way to addressing this.
    I've often felt that Bevo needs to have an assistant coach who's a bit of a hard arse to help balance things.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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    Re: Have they got the balance right?

    Cornes is a peanut at times but, at the same time, he does talk about 'stuff' that most other commentators tend to avoid.

    When you watch pretty average groups like the one Collingwood rolled out this year - as well as (cough) the team that won the premiership - get rolling it is generally because:

    1/. They are predictable to each other which allows them to defend well and retain possession when the pressure is on.
    2/. Players are able to roll into different positions relatively seamlessly - if only for small periods of time - without impacting on the overall team structure.

    I mean, yes, Jeremy Cameron covers up for a lot of problems but - player for player - we match up OK with the Cats. But when we play them...well, we aren't good enough for long enough. Their relentless approach wins out. They know their roles, they sacrifice for one another (they each know their turn will come) and just do the basics right. We are dependent on Bont being brilliant and Naughton clunking marks vs 4.

    We all know this stuff is true. Getting the group together - it starts off the field - is the first step. If the Dunks show plus Hunter (whatever has been going on there) assist in this, well, great.
    What should I tell her? She's going to ask.

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    Re: Have they got the balance right?

    Stopped reading at Naughton goes back. It's the new "if they could just get a key forward". Lazy boring nothingness.
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    Re: Have they got the balance right?

    What did everyone think of Garry's comments about putting the lasso of truth on Dunks?
    The media has some strong speculation of what our challenges might have been over the last two years but the club is keeping it in house as you would expect and the media just keeps throwing out the questions around that something isn't quite right.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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    Re: Have they got the balance right?

    Everything discussed in this thread is spot on. For the most part, even though I've been critical of list management, our list is good enough to win it all based on talent. But we're not getting a performance that is the sum of its part and most of that is down to discipline and not doing the little things. The 1 percenters. The selfless things that go unnoticed but help your team-mate and team.

    Why we're poor at doing these things as well as being poor setting up around the ground , staying focused for 4 qrtrs etc is unknown - is it lack of on field leadership? Poor coaching? Divide in the playing group? Selfish players or culture? Who knows. But Dunkley wanting out so bad is a worrying sign and I do suspect something isn't right.
    Last edited by bulldogsthru&thru; 21-10-2022 at 01:12 PM.

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    Re: Have they got the balance right?

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    What did everyone think of Garry's comments about putting the lasso of truth on Dunks?
    It's a very fair question to ask, I mean how long does a hot pocket need to be in the microwave for it to reach optimum eating temperature?

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    Re: Have they got the balance right?

    Personally I like projecting onto Dunkley rather than actually finding out if he had legitimate grievances.
    - RIP Goldstein for 2021 First - 2020-2020 -

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    Re: Have they got the balance right?

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    What did everyone think of Garry's comments about putting the lasso of truth on Dunks?
    The media has some strong speculation of what our challenges might have been over the last two years but the club is keeping it in house as you would expect and the media just keeps throwing out the questions around that something isn't quite right.
    The 'professionalism' smoke has been blowing pretty darn hot since the 2020 hub shenanigans. I think some of us have heard a lot of troubling things.

    That Dunkley walked and Hunter was shoved out, under contract, for peanuts (and with us kicking in some of his contract apparently) speaks volumes.
    Western Bulldogs: 2016 Premiers

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    Re: Have they got the balance right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mofra View Post
    The 'professionalism' smoke has been blowing pretty darn hot since the 2020 hub shenanigans. I think some of us have heard a lot of troubling things.

    That Dunkley walked and Hunter was shoved out, under contract, for peanuts (and with us kicking in some of his contract apparently) speaks volumes.
    You have to wonder whether it's JUST Hunter or more than that. Hunters issues sound pretty confined to himself (although I don't know the details). I suspect the latter is true as we had intentions to get rid of Hunter early on and would this not have addressed Dunkleys concerns if it was only about Hunter? Or perhaps Josh had already committed himself to leaving and the clubs decision to get rid of Lachie wasn't going to change that. Who knows. Well....the club does.

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    Re: Have they got the balance right?

    Dunkley's leaving doesn't have to be just one thing.

    It's entirely feasible that he wanted to be super close to his girlfriend's parents, his best mates partner and kid, away from his controlling father, part of a mega deal and at a new club that doesn't have some cultural issues as far as he can tell all at once.

    What I find interesting is that he didn't feel he could help lead the club to a better place.
    Borderline diplomatic.

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    Re: Have they got the balance right?

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    Dunkley's leaving doesn't have to be just one thing.

    It's entirely feasible that he wanted to be super close to his girlfriend's parents, his best mates partner and kid, away from his controlling father, part of a mega deal and at a new club that doesn't have some cultural issues as far as he can tell all at once.

    What I find interesting is that he didn't feel he could help lead the club to a better place.
    He doesn't strike me as leadership material. He might be a professional and set good standards but players who predominantly think about themselves don't usually make good leaders. Josh has made a decision for himself and only for himself. That's fine. But those players won't make great leaders so he wasn't going to change any of the issues we might be facing.

    Unfortunately for us, I can't think of a strong leader who could change any potential issues....

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  25. #15
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    Re: Have they got the balance right?

    Quote Originally Posted by bulldogsthru&thru View Post
    He doesn't strike me as leadership material. He might be a professional and set good standards but players who predominantly think about themselves don't usually make good leaders. Josh has made a decision for himself and only for himself. That's fine. But those players won't make great leaders so he wasn't going to change any of the issues we might be facing.

    Unfortunately for us, I can't think of a strong leader who could change any potential issues....
    Actually you raise a very good point, do we lack leaders?

    Personally I'd be pushing Alex Keath. He worked the room like a master at a function I went to recently (won't mention what it was for in case I upset Jee).
    Josh Bruce might have some natural leadership in him too.

    Macrae, I get he's a solid citizen and Bevo was trying to reward him but I think it's not his bag.
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