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  1. #1
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    Dogs need review of their whole footy department

    Dogs need review of their whole footy department

    Missing out on finals should demand action at Western Bulldogs, writes MARK ROBINSON. But there's one "poppycock" excuse for the top-eight failure Robbo won't stomach.



    The unwavering support for Luke Beveridge cannot stop a full-blown review of a season that ended with a whimper and disappointment.

    The Bulldogs have problems and a review will determine the extent of them, however monumental or minuscule they are.

    But problems they are.

    On field, the Bulldogs don't even tease anymore. They are flash without substance. A team which had top four hopes and nothing to show for it. The list needs work.

    The off-field component also needs examination and how deep that runs is up to the Bulldogs.

    But the review has to look at all aspects of the footy department, including head of football and club icon Chris Grant, the coaching set up and recruiting.

    The simple ? and likely ? solution is to have Grant review the footy and chief executive Ameet Bains to review Grant.

    The other solution is to bring in an external person, say a Jason Dunstall or Geoff Walsh, to review Grant, talk to the players and staff, and then report to Bains.

    It's not an emergency or crisis move, it's a move to help identify any problems with the environment, reporting practices and player concerns that otherwise remain subdued.

    It's not about blowing up the club, it's about improving the club.

    And there's no shame in employing fresh eyes.

    The person could look and listen. Speak to the captain, speak to the experienced Liam Jones about his expectation versus reality and speak to outgoing assistants Rohan Smith and Marc Webb.

    Even speak to those who previously wanted out of the club and about why.

    If they'd care to share, have meetings with assistant coaches who departed in recent years, like Ash Hansen, Joel Corey, Stephen King and Jordan Russell.

    It's not a witch hunt. It's an exploration. Why did they leave? Was it because of Beveridge or even Grant, or is it less sinister than that?

    Also, learn why Lachie Hunter left, and Zaine Cordy and Josh Dunkley. Two of them are father-sons. It?s rare for sons of past players, who have barracked for the club all their lives, to want out. One maybe. But two?

    Change has begun and will continue.

    Smith, a long-time lieutenant of Beveridge?s is out the door. Beveridge didn?t like it, which prompted suggestions of conflict with Grant and Bains.

    Those pedalling that conflict can't have it both ways. They accuse Beveridge of having too much power, and that no one at the club stands up to him, and then scream crisis when the club actually stands up to the coach.

    And the other suggestion that Smith's sacking derailed the season surely is poppycock. If the players use that as an excuse, there?s more issues than we thought.

    The Bulldogs on Monday indicated the review would be run internally.

    "We?re aware we need to improve in the off-season to bridge the gap between where we are and where we need to be," Bulldogs chief executive Ameet Bains said on Monday night.

    "Our job now is to definitively identify where we can find that improvement and make the required changes.

    "That process started earlier in the season, and will continue now as we work through the early stages of the post-season.

    "With the strength of leadership we have within our club, and the intimate knowledge of our people and processes, we are confident we can make the adjustments that we require."

    The list needs work. The top-end talent is there, but there?s too much bottom-end battlers. Like, there's six colonels and 16 soldiers.

    The best list in the competition? That was a joke comment surely.

    Former recruiter Simon Dalrymple was another to take off. He built the 2016 list and is doing a pretty good job with Sydney's list. Why did he leave? Was it about opportunity or would he no longer work with Grant or Beveridge? Go ask him?

    This year, there were injuries, and they did lose five games by seven points or fewer, but questions remain on players such as Jack Macrae and Bailey Smith.

    Macrae fell off a cliff this year and Smith might fall out of the club. What's their mindset?

    The players have their exit meetings Tuesday, so grievances will be heard and questions will be asked.

    Will Smith be totally honest? He had a great working and personal relationship with former club doctor, Jake Landsberger. Does he have the same comfortableness and honesty at present?

    That's not an accusation, it's a question.

    And if he wants out for another environment then why?


    Who cares what the Bulldogs call their review, be it exploratory or semi-crisis, because that's not the point.

    And it's not about circling wagons and soldiering on.

    Fresh eyes can be a winner.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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  3. #2
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    Re: Dogs need review of their whole footy department

    Exactly. Robbo makes sense!
    Rocket Science: the epitaph for the Beveridge era - whenever it ends - reading 'Here lies a team that could beat anyone on its day, but seldom did when it mattered most'. 15/7/2023

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  5. #3
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    Re: Dogs need review of their whole footy department

    Quote Originally Posted by bulldogtragic View Post
    Exactly. Robbo makes sense!
    Amazingly yes. Halley's Comet must be due.
    "Look at me mate. Look at me. I'm flyin'"

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  7. #4
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    Re: Dogs need review of their whole footy department

    Quote Originally Posted by Sedat View Post
    Amazingly yes. Halley's Comet must be due.
    Beer shortage in Melbourne perhaps?
    Western Bulldogs: 2016 Premiers

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  9. #5
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    Re: Dogs need review of their whole footy department

    I don't mind some pressure and media focus coming for us given the way we stumbled to the finish line.
    We will start to finalise the playing list over the next few weeks and when the trade period starts we will get an idea on how active we might be there. The main point I'd like to get some clarity about is if we are rebuilding the list via the draft, topping up like with some experienced types like we did last year or a combination of both.

    Back to some of the points Robbo focused on but would contacting ex players or officials who departed the club really help?
    The whole footy department needs to be reviewed not just Bevo. I don't think we were set-up to succeed this year by not replacing Chris Maple.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

  10. #6
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    Re: Dogs need review of their whole footy department

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    I don't mind some pressure and media focus coming for us given the way we stumbled to the finish line.
    We will start to finalise the playing list over the next few weeks and when the trade period starts we will get an idea on how active we might be there. The main point I'd like to get some clarity about is if we are rebuilding the list via the draft, topping up like with some experienced types like we did last year or a combination of both.

    Back to some of the points Robbo focused on but would contacting ex players or officials who departed the club really help?
    The whole footy department needs to be reviewed not just Bevo. I don't think we were set-up to succeed this year by not replacing Chris Maple.
    I agree GVGjr that some of this pressure is good.

    But I also don't see how some of interviewing the ex players works? Everything slightly retro fitted after the fact

    My take is:

    Dunkley predominantly left for more money and more years - I suspect all the innuendo is a way of softening him looking like a modern mercenary - his manager always knew we had Bont and Libba etc and was looking to engineer a move to a spot where he would be paid like he was 'the man'. His father and family also seemed very attuned to maximising his earnings from Day 1.

    Hunter had stopped performing, lacked focus and needed a change of scenery - now, it could be argued its a shame we couldnt help him, or make that focus happen with us - and thats an issue worthy of exploration, but do those insights come from Hunter himself?

    Cordy was a fringe player who we knew what we were going to get out of him, but he also got a longer offer elsewhere. If he'd stayed we were going to end up playing him and we actually needed to open up that spot in the team for other options. We chose to pay Jones over him, and or prioritise Gardner, or use Keath and or TOB which are decisions Im fine with.

    What was the role you saw Maple playing that was missed GVG? Combination of footy development and management?

    List management is where we seem to have dropped off over the past two years - we haven't been introducing enough kids onto the list, and specifically not enough midfield options

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  12. #7
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    Re: Dogs need review of their whole footy department

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog Revolution View Post
    List management is where we seem to have dropped off over the past two years - we haven't been introducing enough kids onto the list, and specifically not enough midfield options
    This is true, but the fact is we didn't have the the picks that could give us decent players. With Jamarra and Darcy coming in this hurt us in other ways, and we ended up promoting the Robbie McComb's of the world and not being able to find some decent 2nd, 3rd rounders.
    FFC: Established 1883

    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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    Re: Dogs need review of their whole footy department

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    This is true, but the fact is we didn't have the the picks that could give us decent players. With Jamarra and Darcy coming in this hurt us in other ways, and we ended up promoting the Robbie McComb's of the world and not being able to find some decent 2nd, 3rd rounders.
    I agree with this, and also think getting a young KPD with our first pick last year was the right move. Those players take time so you've gotta get them ahead of when you're desperate.

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    Re: Dogs need review of their whole footy department

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    This is true, but the fact is we didn't have the the picks that could give us decent players. With Jamarra and Darcy coming in this hurt us in other ways, and we ended up promoting the Robbie McComb's of the world and not being able to find some decent 2nd, 3rd rounders.
    So, I'll ask for the 1,047th time should we be sacrificing further draft picks for Croft? Or should our draft capital be used on the open market?
    More of an In Bruges guy?

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    Re: Dogs need review of their whole footy department

    Quote Originally Posted by azabob View Post
    So, I'll ask for the 1,047th time should we be sacrificing further draft picks for Croft? Or should our draft capital be used on the open market?
    In the words of the great Eric Bogle, "... and I ask myself the same question".

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  20. #11
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    Re: Dogs need review of their whole footy department

    Quote Originally Posted by azabob View Post
    So, I'll ask for the 1,047th time should we be sacrificing further draft picks for Croft? Or should our draft capital be used on the open market?
    Trade up to GCS. Get Stevens & Croft. Hopefully Lohmann in the trade period. Then look at live trading back into the draft where we can.

    A top 5 player, a 10-15 player, a former first rounder from two years ago is a handy injection of talent. The bigger thing is backing ourselves into drafting some kids instead of hoarding VFL players or rookieing delisted players. We’ve got to have our recruiters do some young talent recruiting. If they take maybe 3 kids, even if only one or two turn out to half way good then we walk away happy.
    Rocket Science: the epitaph for the Beveridge era - whenever it ends - reading 'Here lies a team that could beat anyone on its day, but seldom did when it mattered most'. 15/7/2023

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  22. #12
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    Re: Dogs need review of their whole footy department

    Quote Originally Posted by bulldogtragic View Post
    Trade up to GCS. Get Stevens & Croft. Hopefully Lohmann in the trade period. Then look at live trading back into the draft where we can.

    A top 5 player, a 10-15 player, a former first rounder from two years ago is a handy injection of talent. The bigger thing is backing ourselves into drafting some kids instead of hoarding VFL players or rookieing delisted players. We’ve got to have our recruiters do some young talent recruiting. If they take maybe 3 kids, even if only one or two turn out to half way good then we walk away happy.
    Thanks BT
    FFC: Established 1883

    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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    Re: Dogs need review of their whole footy department

    Quote Originally Posted by azabob View Post
    So, I'll ask for the 1,047th time should we be sacrificing further draft picks for Croft? Or should our draft capital be used on the open market?
    Ill state some obvious Aza - 200+ cm athletic key positions players can be very valuable when they pan out - but yes, you are right, its a risk (i.e Ayce Cordy who we paid a very high price for). In draft capital Croft seems to be rated as to what he might be (projected), rather than what he is currently - he is big, a bit raw, but athletic and improving rapidly this season. But in terms of stock, his father applied himself beautifully and turned himself into a great full back after being drafted as a wingman before growing.

    We should look to draft him but IMO Croft is closer to a pick 20 prospect than a pick 5 - hes going to take quite a few years. For kids playing key positions it just takes a bit of time to get strong enough to compete with guys like Sam Collins, Liam Jones etc and they cant work their way into it in outside roles where they run and accumulate.

    We need to counterbalance the talls by making sure we take 3 other kids.

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  25. #14
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    Re: Dogs need review of their whole footy department

    Quote Originally Posted by bulldogtragic View Post
    Trade up to GCS. Get Stevens & Croft. Hopefully Lohmann in the trade period. Then look at live trading back into the draft where we can.

    A top 5 player, a 10-15 player, a former first rounder from two years ago is a handy injection of talent. The bigger thing is backing ourselves into drafting some kids instead of hoarding VFL players or rookieing delisted players. We’ve got to have our recruiters do some young talent recruiting. If they take maybe 3 kids, even if only one or two turn out to half way good then we walk away happy.
    Thanks BT, this is our longest ongoing topic and I love it.

    Spot on with your comments, we need to back in the recruiting team to find some talent in the later rounds.

    Hopefully GVGjr theory is correct in that Croft is a long term prospect similar to Todd Marshall and a bid is closer to pick twenty and not pick ten.
    More of an In Bruges guy?

  26. #15
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    Re: Dogs need review of their whole footy department

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog Revolution View Post
    Ill state some obvious Aza - 200+ cm athletic key positions players can be very valuable when they pan out - but yes, you are right, its a risk (i.e Ayce Cordy who we paid a very high price for). In draft capital Croft seems to be rated as to what he might be (projected), rather than what he is currently - he is big, a bit raw, but athletic and improving rapidly this season. But in terms of stock, his father applied himself beautifully and turned himself into a great full back after being drafted as a wingman before growing.

    We should look to draft him but IMO Croft is closer to a pick 20 prospect than a pick 5 - hes going to take quite a few years. For kids playing key positions it just takes a bit of time to get strong enough to compete with guys like Sam Collins, Liam Jones etc and they cant work their way into it in outside roles where they run and accumulate.

    We need to counterbalance the talls by making sure we take 3 other kids.
    I remember a particular person raving to me about Ayce Cordy and to be honest I've never forgiven him.

    I've been hrt too many times before.
    "It's over. It's all over."

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