Versatility a key to future Bulldog success

Luke Beveridge has revolutionised football since arriving as coach of the Western Bulldogs at the end of 2014.


Beveridge immediately brought confidence and an instilled self-belief in the players, that weren’t seen out west for half a century. He immediately focused on flexibility and the need for players to play dual-positions. This brought immediate success with the Western Bulldogs making the finals in 2015, their first campaign since 2010.


In 2016 he went about further revolutionising the Western Bulldogs game plan with the ‘handball’ game that his players perfected so well. Whenever players would find themselves in trouble they’d be able to handball their way out of it. Tom Liberatore, Lachie Hunter, Liam Picken, Marcus Bontempelli, Caleb Daniel, Toby McLean, and even the likes of Tom Boyd were lightning at times with their hands. This all culminated to a perfect storm in a final series, and gold by winning the 2016 premiership.


After a down season in 2017 with injuries and important players horrifically out of form, Luke Beveridge went into the 2017 trade period looking to re-vitalise the list. Josh Prudden, Declan Hamilton, and Tristian Tweedie were all de-listed. Jake Stringer was traded, but what the Bulldogs brought in was impressive. Jackson Trengove via free agency, Hayden Crozier for late picks, Josh Schache for picks 25 and 40, and pick 16 to add to pick 9.


Not only do these players fill roles the Bulldogs are looking for, but they’re capable of playing dual positions. By all means, Trengove is the only one likely to be best 22 with a fit list next season, but Schache is a great prospect for the Bulldogs once Picken, Dickson, and Crameri close out their careers and could create a formidable partnership with Tom Boyd. Crozier will also add depth, suggested to play off half-back which he impressed in for a 10 round period during 2016.


It’s suspected Mitch Honeychurch and Stewart Crameri are potential de-listees to make list space before the draft. With picks 9 and 16 the Western Bulldogs will be looking to nail those picks and recruit players who can make an immediate impact. Jack Higgins, who is a prolific midfielder, suggested to go in the middle part of the first round could be a player that’d suit the team.


The versatility of the team is something to behold and may revolutionise the game further. Marcus Adams, Zaine Cordy, Jackson Trengove, Jason Johannisen, Lachie Hunter, Tom Boyd, Jordan Roughead, Marcus Bontempelli, and Bailey Dale, all arguably best 22 players, can play dual positions. If Beveridge changes their roles quarter by quarter, or half by half, it could create mayhem for opposition match-up’s.


The Western Bulldogs are still exceptionally young and won’t arguably reach their peak until 2019 and beyond. That doesn’t change the fact, Beveridge will be looking to sneak another Premiership away and create a dynasty this football club has never seen before.


Copies of The Doggies Almanac 2016 are still available. CLICK HERE



  1. Neil Anderson says

    Couldn’t agree more Jake. I thought the players traded in and the picks left for the draft was the best outcome for the Bulldogs for many years. Versatility, height and the right age-group for where the team is at. I couldn’t understand the negativity in the press. Then again, our club should be used to that reaction. A lot of it from those who thought we didn’t deserve the 2016 flag. We are reminded constantly how we weren’t the best team in 2016, we only played our best footy in the finals etc.
    Thanks for writing such a positive article. I’m sure we will be tipped to miss the eight again, but we’re used to the negativity by the press and other clubs. It will only make us pursue the third premiership even harder.

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