Thanks Thanks:  10
Likes Likes:  26
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 22
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Doglands
    Posts
    38,984
    Post Thanks / Like

    The List Manager review - Western Bulldogs

    The List Manager: Jon Ralph runs the rule over the Bulldogs? current group, its future and everything in between



    Any way you cut it the Dogs vastly underperformed in 2023.

    They had footy's best ruckman (Tim English), the top two players on official player ratings (Marcus Bontempelli, Tom Liberatore) and a star-studded and versatile forward line.

    No wonder CEO Ameet Baines quite rightly called the list top-four calibre.

    And yet from an 8-3 perch a strangely inconsistent Bulldogs side won only four more games amid off-field rumblings as fans wondered about the tactics and selections of coach Luke Beveridge.

    Whitten Oval didn't seem a happy and contented place as one of footy's most consistent stars in Jackson Macrae was under-utilised and Bailey Smith barely tried to hide his dissatisfaction about playing high half forward.

    A round 23 loss to West Coast summed up a wasted season as the Dogs eventually found a way to 12 victories in a home-and-away season with an extra match but still came up short of September participation.

    As the Dogs tipped their assistant coaching ranks upside down post-season they would point Beveridge's critics to his record of six finals campaigns and two grand finals in nine completed seasons with only one losing season (8-14 in 2018).

    And yet in those nine years the Dogs have never finished top four (they reached grand finals from seventh and fifth) so that must be their stated aim in 2024.

    TRADE PERIOD

    Rating: 7/10

    The Dogs used the draft capital of a mid-table finish and their 2024 first-rounder to jump all the way up to pick 5 and enough points to secure Matthew Croft's son Jordan in next week's national draft.

    Then they increased their midfield depth by securing Melbourne's James Harmes while also bolstering the defence with St Kilda's Nick Coffield.

    Their draft hand next year in a bumper draft is weak - no first-rounder or fourth-rounder - but plenty can change before the 2024 national draft.

    The Dogs believe Coffield is potentially an upgrade on the delisted Taylor Duryea and Hayden Crozier, but he hasn't played an AFL game in two years.

    As recently as last year Harmes played 22 AFL games averaging 17 possessions, 1.7 clearances, 0.6 goals and 3.6 tackles so for a future third-rounder he?s a smart addition.

    LIST HOLES

    Dogs fans know the score.

    Last year the midfield was talent-laden but never quite clicked, Lobb underperformed, Liam Jones and Ed Richards both missed a month of footy at inopportune times, Naughton was good but not great and Ugle-Hagan's super breakout season was marred by inaccuracy.

    Of seven games decided by under 12 points they won a single contest (five points against Richmond), with two, three, five, seven and seven-point losses.

    In a year where Sam Darcy was often injured none of Josh Bruce, Alex Keath or Ryan Gardner could lock down the second defensive role.

    It meant James O'Donnell was given a dozen games, showing an extraordinary rate of improvement including three late breakout games but given jobs way above his pay grade and experience.

    So the Dogs will hope natural improvement and better form from key players will shoot them up the ladder after 11 players moved on including some Bevo favourites - Robbie McComb, Lachie McNeil, Roarke Smith and Mitch Hannan.



    Jones, O'Donnell, third-year tall Darcy, Gardner and Keath are the key defenders with Coffield, Richards, Dale, Caleb Daniel and wingman-defender Bailey Williams providing the run.

    O'Donnell's level of improvement off so little recent football was phenomenal at a club that also took key back Jedd Busslinger with pick 12 last year.

    By 2026 all of Darcy, O'Donnell and Busslinger should be defensively mainstays alongside the brilliant half back Richards, still only 24.

    Naughton, Ugle-Hagan, Lobb, Cody Weightman (34 goals despite an elbow injury), Arty Jones and Rhylee West make up the talent-laden forward line.

    It is Beveridge's job to make the most of a midfield the envy of the comp, on paper at least - Bontempelli, Liberatore, Smith, Macrae, Treloar and the All Australian ruckman English.

    This list wants for nothing.

    Time to get cracking on maximising its potential.

    DRAFT STRATEGY

    The Dogs have pick 5 and expect to match a bid for 201cm father-son forward Croft at around the 12-14 mark.

    They have picks 5, 48, 50, 52, 53, 56, 69, 72 and 75 - so will take as many as four picks unless a Croft bid comes early enough to swallow up all those back-end selections.

    Expect the Eagles to pick Harley Reid, Gold Coast to match a bid for Jed Walter, then the Roos to pick Colby McKercher and Zane Duursma.

    So the Hawks will take the fifth live pick and select one of small forward Nick Watson or key back Daniel Curtin given their midfield is so stocked with young talent.

    Does the Jack Ginnivan acquisition tip their hand to key back Curtin?

    It means the Dogs will take the sixth live pick and can take Larke Medallist Ryley Sanders, a relentless and consistent midfielder, or livewire forward Watson.

    They have been linked to both and are keen on midfield succession with Tom Liberatore 32, Treloar 30 and Smith's future up for grabs.

    Fair enough, but injecting Watson into the forward line from round 1 next year alongside Weightman would be a sight to behold.

    As one rival said this week, everyone can find midfielders but Watson is a genuine point of difference hard to find in the draft.

    WHO'S UNDER THE PUMP

    Rory Lobb only needs to be one of Bevo's Disciples, a valuable role player who crashes packs and plays five minutes in the ruck, to justify his spot in the team.

    Unfortunately for Lobb in his debut season there were too many times he was MIA.

    He played some wing, some forward, some ruck and it was only in the final game of the year against Geelong when he changed the game in the centre square.

    It will be food for thought for Beveridge given English remains a F50 weapon when deployed there in attacking cameos.

    CAP SPACE

    List boss Sam Power has expertly navigated the club's retention challenges, last year signing up free agents Bailey Dale, Jackson Macrae, Caleb Daniel plus a long list of out-of-contract players.

    The great news for the Dogs is the cap is in fantastic shape, good enough for a crack at elite rival players even after the retention challenges.

    Power will hope the eight-year extension for Aaron Naughton to 2032 has a snowball effect as his great mate Tim English eventually agrees to his own long-term deal.

    It won't come cheap - call it $1.2 million a year - even as the club will hope players follow Marcus Bontempelli's lead in taking a little less to build a premiership team.

    And Jamarra Ugle-Hagan WILL re-sign but his management would be negligent to sign up now when he could have a 60-goal breakout season.

    So expect English and Ugle-Hagan to stay and the Dogs to still get aggressive this time next year.

    TRADE TARGETS FOR 2024

    Not only do the Dogs have cap space, they could secure another first-rounder if Bailey Smith does eventually jump ship.

    The future is Darcy, Busslinger and O?Donnell but with Liam Jones turning 33 in February do the Dogs need to find anther mature-ager to bridge the gap?

    Key backs are so hard to find but the available free agents for 2024 are Josh Battle, Jack Henry and Jake Kolodjashnij, with Dougal Howard and Adam Tomlinson out of contract.

    PREMIERSHIP WINDOW

    When you can win a flag from seventh and qualify for another Grand Final from fifth, no one will write you off in any given season.

    The Dogs are stacked with talent and English is only 26, Naughton 23 and Bontempelli 27.

    Say no more.

    TOP PLAYER RATINGS FOR 2023 AND A 2024 BOLTER

    Bontempelli (1st), Tom Liberatore (2nd), English (5th), Treloar (30th), Macrae (58th), Dale (86th), Richards (91st), Daniel (105th), Naughton (112th).

    Bolter: Ugle-Hagan can climb into the top 50 next year.

    TRADE BAIT

    Bailey Smith has genuinely committed to spending the off-season doing everything possible to getting fit enough to break into the centre square next year.

    For all the ballyhoo over his lack of impact - and he missed the top 10 in the best-and-fairest - he did average 23.5 possessions, 3.6 clearances and 3.5 tackles.

    But he was inconsistent, his kicking was officially below average and inside-50 kicking was only average and as a high half forward he kicked only four goals with 11 direct score assists.

    They are ordinary stats for a player who kicked 17 goals in 2021, including three and four in that year's semi and preliminary final.

    Expect a bounce-back year which only sparks more interest in his future home.

    Bulldogs Crystal Ball

    2024 FINISH
    10th. Happy to be proved wrong but 2024 is stacked with contenders and teams on the rise. The Dogs are in that pack and nothing more given the way they finished the season.

    2024 BEST AND FAIREST

    The Bont has five Charlie Sutton Medals, winning with 342 votes ahead of Libba (278) with daylight third (Ed Richards 193 votes, filled the podium). Only Scott West (seven b-and-fs) and Gary Dempsey (six) are ahead in club history.

    2024 LEADING GOAL KICKER

    For all of his brilliance Ugle-Hagan kicked at goal at only 37 per cent in his 35.35 season. He's never kicked at better than 50 per cent. Can he become an elite kick for goal? A flag might depending upon it.

    PLAYER ON THE RISE
    Sam Darcy is officially injury prone. In his second year it was a broken jaw, a hole in his lung and a badly corked quad that caused extensive bruising and time on the sidelines. There is no doubting his talent but after only 11 games this year (three AFL, eight VFL) can he double that tally in 2024?

    PLAYER ON THE EDGE
    Nick Coffield gets a new start as a former top 10 pick but has never played more than 18 games or averaged more than 15 possessions. He did finish fifth in the 2020 best-and-fairest. Let's hope the injury gods lift their curse.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    32,414
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The List Masnager review - Western Bulldogs

    “The great news for the Dogs is the cap is in fantastic shape, good enough for a crack at elite rival players even after the retention challenges.”


    Finally, a journo that saves me from saying it again.
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wherever the dogs are playing
    Posts
    59,839
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The List Manager review - Western Bulldogs

    Pretty good summary from Ralph. Hopefully we can better 10th
    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Doglands
    Posts
    38,984
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The List Manager review - Western Bulldogs

    We have to be right in the mix for the top 5. Our list doesn't want for much but while we do have some gaps they can be addressed.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Algester, Qld
    Posts
    8,036
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The List Manager review - Western Bulldogs

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    Pretty good summary from Ralph. Hopefully we can better 10th
    If Ralph is right, and we turn up finishing 10th, then there is almost no doubt this will mean Bevo is gone come season end.
    I hope, and genuinely think we have the ability and physical talent to significantly exceed 10th, and challenge the top 4. It's really just about whether the coaching team can tap into the right psychological levers to get the players mindsets in the right frame to deliver on it.
    They have to somehow exorcise some of the mental scars that still seem to haunt this group in certain game situations as almost first order of business. That goes along side any tactical shifts required to address big oppo scoring run ons against us.

  6. Likes josie, HOSE B ROMERO liked this post
  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    sydenham
    Posts
    12,052
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The List Manager review - Western Bulldogs

    So we want for nothing but predicts 10th . Kind of opposites.
    Bring back the biff

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    32,414
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The List Manager review - Western Bulldogs

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    We have to be right in the mix for the top 5. Our list doesn't want for much but while we do have some gaps they can be addressed.
    I’m wondering… I heard Power a while ago say he identifies trade/free agents at least two years out. I wonder with some good free agents next year whether the missing first rounder talent might be replaced by a free agent talent.

    Or if West & Cooney end up high as firsts, whether we trade F1’s for the next two years to get back into the first round and then use points to get those boys and catch up then?

    Conversely, Ralphy saying picks 10, 13 & 23 (after bids) for Pick 6 & 3 x 3rds (nearly Croft).
    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

  9. Thanks josie thanked for this post
    Likes GVGjr liked this post
  10. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,992
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The List Manager review - Western Bulldogs

    Reasonable summary, but he lowers his credibility by not having followed whats going on with Dureya and McNeill

    I lose respect for supposed experts who are meant to study it, and know whats going on with 100% of list moves

    He has however hit the nail on the head with Jamarra and Lobb

  11. Likes GVGjr, josie liked this post
  12. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    West of somewhere.
    Posts
    6,007
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The List Manager review - Western Bulldogs

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    2024 FINISH
    10th. Happy to be proved wrong but 2024 is stacked with contenders and teams on the rise. The Dogs are in that pack and nothing more given the way they finished the season.
    [B]
    If I was a journo I would project similarly.

    "With the things you could do
    You won't but you might
    The potential you'll be that you'll never see
    The promises you'll only make"

    It's hard to trust this group.

    I'm hopeful that we are a LOT better than 10th but that would be my 'guess' if I was forced to make one...

    At least in the lyrics of the song above, we KNEW the problem with the protagonist - Alcohol. I don't think anyone KNOWS what the issues have been since GF2021 but we really do need to have sorted it out.
    What should I tell her? She's going to ask.

  13. Likes Yankee Hotel Foxtrot liked this post
  14. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Doglands
    Posts
    38,984
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The List Manager review - Western Bulldogs

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp View Post
    If I was a journo I would project similarly.

    "With the things you could do
    You won't but you might
    The potential you'll be that you'll never see
    The promises you'll only make"

    It's hard to trust this group.

    I'm hopeful that we are a LOT better than 10th but that would be my 'guess' if I was forced to make one...

    At least in the lyrics of the song above, we KNEW the problem with the protagonist - Alcohol. I don't think anyone KNOWS what the issues have been since GF2021 but we really do need to have sorted it out.
    I'm far more bullish on next seasons chances given with the constant niggling injuries from training at Skinner reserve will be behind us and with a new fitness coach that will push a bit more running and endurance into the playing list plus the emergence of a few players I'd not be lowering expectations on the club for 2024. That's way too easy.
    We've rejigged the coaching and we will have an increased focus on player development and leadership which can only help.

    I'm dead against lowering the expectations on this group.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

  15. Likes Sedat, The Bulldogs Bite liked this post
  16. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    10,249
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The List Manager review - Western Bulldogs

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    I'm far more bullish on next seasons chances given with the constant niggling injuries from training at Skinner reserve will be behind us and with a new fitness coach that will push a bit more running and endurance into the playing list plus the emergence of a few players I'd not be lowering expectations on the club for 2024. That's way too easy.
    We've rejigged the coaching and we will have an increased focus on player development and leadership which can only help.

    I'm dead against lowering the expectations on this group.
    Absolutely.

    The time is now. We've planned for it, we've recruited for it, and we've now re-adjusted for it.

    Anything other than top 4 at the end of the H&A remains a fail for me. We all know the season starts again in the finals, but that (top 4) has to be the focus.
    Bring on the cricket!

  17. Likes Sedat, josie liked this post
  18. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2023
    Posts
    139
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The List Manager review - Western Bulldogs

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    I'm far more bullish on next seasons chances given with the constant niggling injuries from training at Skinner reserve will be behind us and with a new fitness coach that will push a bit more running and endurance into the playing list plus the emergence of a few players I'd not be lowering expectations on the club for 2024. That's way too easy.
    We've rejigged the coaching and we will have an increased focus on player development and leadership which can only help.

    I'm dead against lowering the expectations on this group.
    I am with you.

    If we have full availability, and any other opposition team does as well, we win. Who is better than a fully-fit us?

    I think Ralph makes some fair assessments, but 10th is way low.

    I don't buy the 'Bevo-bungles' narrative or the 'selection-shockers' or the 'favourites' stories. You gotta try things to get the mix right. Win a few of the close ones and suddenly he is the 'crazy-genius.'

    With a few adjustments, the off-season additions in coaching and fitness, new training facilities, luck with injuries and natural improvement we are right in it in 24.

  19. Likes GVGjr, bornadog liked this post
  20. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3,559
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The List Manager review - Western Bulldogs

    Sort this out and we're on.

    Of seven games decided by under 12 points they won a single contest (five points against Richmond), with two, three, five, seven and seven-point losses.

  21. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    27,820
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The List Masnager review - Western Bulldogs

    Quote Originally Posted by bulldogtragic View Post
    ?The great news for the Dogs is the cap is in fantastic shape, good enough for a crack at elite rival players even after the retention challenges.?


    Finally, a journo that saves me from saying it again.

    Yep, it's lucky you didn't need to say it again.
    Here he comes, he's all dressed in black
    P.R. shoes and and big straw hat
    He's never early, he's always late
    First thing you learn is that you always gotta wait
    I'm waiting for my man.

  22. Likes bulldogtragic liked this post
  23. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    north-west willy
    Posts
    1,849
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The List Manager review - Western Bulldogs

    This may be a silly question but how does Ralph or anyone know what shape our Cap is in? Are our 2024 salaries known?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •