Coach Coaching News and Discussion

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ScottyDogg

Team Captain
Oct 17, 2015
415
749
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Footscray
Thankyou, Freshwater, most illuminating, if true, then most depressing. A touted element of the 2016 campaign was the unity of the playing group. Organisations work at their best when members are united, houses divided fail. This and the Hub rumours recall the 2004 Mike Sheahan article on David Thorpe, reproduced at the beginning of a now closed thread

https://www.bigfooty.com/forum/threads/former-star-thorpe-slams-selfish-bulldogs-culture.124543/

10 Brownlows, 2 Premierships. It’s great that Libber is an elite inside player and Hunter plays outrageously good games, it’s not great that we get bundled out of finals, 2 years in a row, after missing out 2 years in a row. I hope ScottyDogg, maddog37, NBates and Ash1337 are right, I fear they aren’t.
I whole heartedly agree that being bundled out of finals is a clear indicator that something isn’t right.

BUT I would suggest that Hunter and Libba types are far from the problem. Coaching yes, selection yes, gameplay yes and some soft players, who aren’t quite up to it yet, yes.

But who here thinks you can perform to the standard that Libba and Hunter have, without putting in an enormous amount of hard work? And guess what, these guys have also stood up in important games. The ones that constantly let us down are the last 4-5 picked each week. Again, Roark, Dale, Gardener, Hayes, Red, Lipinski, Gowers, Schache etc. These guys may be good blokes and train hard but they don’t yet do the hard gut busting body crunching acts that win games. I would take Hunter and Libba’s on field example over a clean cut guy who trains well everyday.

Players like Stringer can be toxic because they were negatively influencing culture off field while not performing on it. Libba, Hunter and every other father son for that matter bleed for the jumper. We need a few more of those types, not less.
 

Bulldogs Legend

Premiership Player
Aug 18, 2015
4,674
5,262
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Maybe but it all sounds like someone has added all the little spurious rumours floating round into one big pot and come out with a cool story.

Footy clubs have cliques. High level sport is ego driven. It’s what makes them competitive. Thrive or die.

Many kids are shocked entering the work force when they come up against a world that doesn’t fit what they think it should be based on their ideals taught at school or by well meaning parents.
If you have any workplace anywhere of any type that has 40 or so people there will be cliques (otherwise known as friendships) and cliques do favour their own (other wise known as looking after your mates)

This situation would happen at all clubs everywhere.
 

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Bulldogs Legend

Premiership Player
Aug 18, 2015
4,674
5,262
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Thankyou, Freshwater, most illuminating, if true, then most depressing. A touted element of the 2016 campaign was the unity of the playing group. Organisations work at their best when members are united, houses divided fail. This and the Hub rumours recall the 2004 Mike Sheahan article on David Thorpe, reproduced at the beginning of a now closed thread

https://www.bigfooty.com/forum/threads/former-star-thorpe-slams-selfish-bulldogs-culture.124543/

10 Brownlows, 2 Premierships. It’s great that Libber is an elite inside player and Hunter plays outrageously good games, it’s not great that we get bundled out of finals, 2 years in a row, after missing out 2 years in a row. I hope ScottyDogg, maddog37, NBates and Ash1337 are right, I fear they aren’t.
We might have got bundled out because fringe players are not pulling their weight or so called dedicated players jump at the first chance of extra $ from a club with documented poor culture

Btw we had issues in 2016 remember Toyd Cordy and all the Stringer issues
 

Hobdog

Club Legend
May 20, 2007
1,645
2,150
Canberra
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I think there’s a tendency to view aspects of our club as unique in certain ways when the reality is we’re more than likely no different to any other club. We have friendship groups within the club, we have some players on the list that don’t get 35 touches at 95% each game, we have players that play up a bit off the field, we have players that have personal values that don’t align with other players, we have rumours and innuendo.


Sent from my iPhone using BigFooty.com
 

D Mitchell

Premiership Player
Jul 28, 2006
3,110
940
Melbourne
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Footscray Football Club
I whole heartedly agree that being bundled out of finals is a clear indicator that something isn’t right.

BUT I would suggest that Hunter and Libba types are far from the problem. Coaching yes, selection yes, gameplay yes and some soft players, who aren’t quite up to it yet, yes......
The concern isn't individual players but lack of cohesion and commitment. Back in the early 2000s there was reputed to be a clique similar to that described by Freshwater's mate. The father of a Brisbane player told me that their players knew that whenever Smith, Johnson or West got the ball, they looked for each other and that it was widely regarded among other clubs that there was a distinct ingroup who hogged the ball. The player revolts that got rid of Alan Joyce and Brendan McCartney. There's forever been the suspicion that the players exerted too much influence. Further back, a bloke I know who tried out for both us and C'wood told me about the difference between the attitudes of the senior players to, respectively, Whitten and Rose. It's all intangible and there may be nothing in any of it, who but the players would really know. The last 4 years may well be down to fringe players not being up to it. I really hope so because the quality of the list should overcome that deficiency.
 

NBates

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 4, 2007
6,628
7,132
West Footscray
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I'll never understand why grown adults want to gossip like school girls about what goes on in players lives off the field.
That's how it comes across to us (and I'm guilty of thinking that too) simply because we do hate to see factions that might damage unity and therefore on field commitment and performance.

But if we think about it as just a bit of a vent (and aren't we all about mental health these days in the AFL) it may not be such a bad thing. Maybe his best mates are team mates so he can't call it exactly as he sees it to them, so he tells people outside the player circle.

I still understand the concern, but let's not assume the worst without all the facts.

(Gosh, not assuming the worst is definitely not like me! :oops: You can tell I just got back from holiday. :tearsofjoy:)

Kumbaya & peace man.


 

Bulldogs Legend

Premiership Player
Aug 18, 2015
4,674
5,262
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I think there’s a tendency to view aspects of our club as unique in certain ways when the reality is we’re more than likely no different to any other club. We have friendship groups within the club, we have some players on the list that don’t get 35 touches at 95% each game, we have players that play up a bit off the field, we have players that have personal values that don’t align with other players, we have rumours and innuendo.


Sent from my iPhone using BigFooty.com
And happy, unhappy and somewhere in between posters on BF
 

Bulldogs Legend

Premiership Player
Aug 18, 2015
4,674
5,262
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
That's how it comes across to us (and I'm guilty of thinking that too) simply because we do hate to see factions that might damage unity and therefore on field commitment and performance.

But if we think about it as just a bit of a vent (and aren't we all about mental health these days in the AFL) it may not be such a bad thing. Maybe his best mates are team mates so he can't call it exactly as he sees it to them, so he tells people outside the player circle.

I still understand the concern, but let's not assume the worst without all the facts.

(Gosh, not assuming the worst is definitely not like me! :oops: You can tell I just got back from holiday. :tearsofjoy:)

Kumbaya & peace man.


I hope that isn’t a Northern Sydney beach you are sitting on in the GIF!
 

ScragCity

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 7, 2015
10,428
21,974
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I whole heartedly agree that being bundled out of finals is a clear indicator that something isn’t right.

BUT I would suggest that Hunter and Libba types are far from the problem. Coaching yes, selection yes, gameplay yes and some soft players, who aren’t quite up to it yet, yes.

But who here thinks you can perform to the standard that Libba and Hunter have, without putting in an enormous amount of hard work? And guess what, these guys have also stood up in important games. The ones that constantly let us down are the last 4-5 picked each week. Again, Roark, Dale, Gardener, Hayes, Red, Lipinski, Gowers, Schache etc. These guys may be good blokes and train hard but they don’t yet do the hard gut busting body crunching acts that win games. I would take Hunter and Libba’s on field example over a clean cut guy who trains well everyday.

Players like Stringer can be toxic because they were negatively influencing culture off field while not performing on it. Libba, Hunter and every other father son for that matter bleed for the jumper. We need a few more of those types, not less.
Man this is a bizarre take. I would have thought that the contested marks differential was a much more obvious answer for why we lost our final.
 

Freshwater

Club Legend
Oct 30, 2014
2,258
4,129
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
You can even win a premiership with players being totally unprofessional, WCE in 2006. But why did their premiership captain want out afterwards? Some players from that WCE era can’t even function properly anymore. WCE are an enormous entity and can rebound with limitless resources. We couldn’t recover from that level, nor are we there. But good clubs ask the right questions and don’t bury their heads in the sand like WCE did back in the mid 2000’s
 

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Bulldogs Legend

Premiership Player
Aug 18, 2015
4,674
5,262
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
You can even win a premiership with players being totally unprofessional, WCE in 2006. But why did their premiership captain want out afterwards? Some players from that WCE era can’t even function properly anymore. WCE are an enormous entity and can rebound with limitless resources. We couldn’t recover from that level, nor are we there. But good clubs ask the right questions and don’t bury their heads in the sand like WCE did back in the mid 2000’s
Are you suggesting we don’t?

We have already moved players on who have had cultural issues. Gordon said on SEN that they are looking at the reasons why Dunkley wanted to leave. This does not mean everything a player complains about is correct or an easy fix.

Tigers have had continuous issues this year including today and the Swans bloods culture didn’t prevent one of there players being charged with domestic violenc.
 

bresker

Premium Platinum
Sep 21, 2005
9,520
13,343
Brunswick East 3057
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Wet Sham, BANGOR FC, Down
I believe we have too many old boys and too many father-sons than is healthy. Amongst coaching staff, board members and players. If players and their dads hang around a club from cradle to grave, you can see how a 'boys club' could easily develop. Libba is a strong individual with a big personality. He's a leader, but is he the leader to the fold or out of it? As a teacher I've seen classrooms where a charismatic but flawed leader amongst the kids can fu** sh*t up.

I'm drawing a long bow here, of course.
 

Northernsoul74

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 19, 2016
8,475
11,723
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I believe we have too many old boys and too many father-sons than is healthy. Amongst coaching staff, board members and players. If players and their dads hang around a club from cradle to grave, you can see how a 'boys club' could easily develop. Libba is a strong individual with a big personality. He's a leader, but is he the leader to the fold or out of it? As a teacher I've seen classrooms where a charismatic but flawed leader amongst the kids can fu** sh*t up.

I'm drawing a long bow here, of course.
I was literally going to type your last sentence. So much gets made of every bit of rumour, a lot is true, a lot not, most somewhere in between. Basically no one on here knows and if they did it would be a very small biased snippet.
Personally I feel Libba is an easy target for innuendo based on an indiscretion he made when he was 18. I’m not naive enough to think that’s the only time but he will never be able to live that incident down. It’s the default comment of any opposition fan about him.
He is different, he’s a bit loose but there are far worse in our team let alone the league. Knowing a bit of some of the charity work he does on the quiet with the homeless just doesn’t add up to the bullying accusations that have been thrown his way.
More generally we are a small club and the old boys club benefits us way more than not. Wallis is a model pro to my knowledge.
I do welcome the suggestion that if professionalism is being called into question with any of our players it should be called out.
 
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ScragCity

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 7, 2015
10,428
21,974
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Tom takes his son to the same park as I take mine. I've seen the way he pushes his son on the swing and in my opinion it can border on reckless. It's at least 5cm higher than I feel comfortable pushing my son who is only two months younger. This leads me to believe he would be a very bad influence on our other players.
 

Bulldogs Legend

Premiership Player
Aug 18, 2015
4,674
5,262
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I was literally going to type your last sentence. So much gets made of every bit of rumour, a lot is true, a lot not, most somewhere in between. Basically no one on here knows and if they did it would be a very small biased snippet.
Personally I feel Libba is an easy target for innuendo based on an indiscretion he made when he was 18. I’m not naive enough to think that’s the only time but he will never be able to live that incident down. It’s the default comment of any opposition fan about him.
He is different, he’s a bit loose but there are far worse in our team let alone the league. Knowing a bit of some of the charity work he does on the quiet with the homeless just doesn’t add up to the bullying accusations that have been thrown his way.
More generally we are a small club and the old boys club benefits us way more than not. Wallis is a model pro to my knowledge.
I do welcome the suggestion that if professionalism is being called into question with any of our players it should be called out.
Great post this just about sums it up.

Reality is that our club has to do it differently than others in a lot of ways. we don’t have some of the historical natural advantages of the big Vic clubs. We do rely on the family ties but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

I think in the context of where other similar clubs to us sit in the competition over the past 20 years we seriously underestimate what we have achieved. This doesnt mean we can’t improve or should be comfortable with what we have done but it does mean we can’t jump at every shadow.
 

Mattdougie

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 29, 2013
17,550
16,923
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I don’t know whether coaches can help with this problem. We’ve all heard the rumours with our players in 2020 in the hub. I just caught up with a friend who was a player sponsor to one of our younger players who is in and out of the team. The young player is hanging on to his AFL dream by his fingernails and can’t just request a trade like a big name can. This youngster is hating life at the club, and says if you’re not in Libba’s clique you’re on the outer. And that clique votes in certain players to leadership roles and generally has a poor culture to be a success in a professional sport. It’s bringing down morale, and we all know how quickly that kills the spirit at a work place. And some of these guys are the ones on big money and get picked every week. And these guys that are doing the right things, are on a lot less money and are working their arses off but don’t have the talent and not always getting picked. That the club was happy to move on or discipline Dahlhaus and Stringer and the like, but finds it difficult to do so with sons of past champions.
Every single word of this is absolute bullsh!t

Libba is and always has been distant from the club and the vast majority of the playing group.

He was not a member of the Dahl, Hunter, Biggs, Red group.

He is not close to Bont, McRae or Dunks.

There is no doubt Libba is no angel but I think the reason they didn’t move him on a he didn’t involve or attempt to involve any other players in his “fun”.

It’s amazing your info thinks Libba has such power that to vote others into leadership roles yet never has one himself.


There was one player that caused all the issues in and out of the hub last year and he was also Dunks major issue. How he gets away with it I have no idea but it was 109283873% not Libba.
 

D Mitchell

Premiership Player
Jul 28, 2006
3,110
940
Melbourne
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Footscray Football Club
Every single word of this is absolute bullsh!t

Libba is and always has been distant from the club and the vast majority of the playing group.

He was not a member of the Dahl, Hunter, Biggs, Red group.

He is not close to Bont, McRae or Dunks.

There is no doubt Libba is no angel but I think the reason they didn’t move him on a he didn’t involve or attempt to involve any other players in his “fun”.

It’s amazing your info thinks Libba has such power that to vote others into leadership roles yet never has one himself.


There was one player that caused all the issues in and out of the hub last year and he was also Dunks major issue. How he gets away with it I have no idea but it was 109283873% not Libba.
109283873% = Peter Gordon ?
 

Freshwater

Club Legend
Oct 30, 2014
2,258
4,129
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Every single word of this is absolute bullsh!t

Libba is and always has been distant from the club and the vast majority of the playing group.

He was not a member of the Dahl, Hunter, Biggs, Red group.

He is not close to Bont, McRae or Dunks.

There is no doubt Libba is no angel but I think the reason they didn’t move him on a he didn’t involve or attempt to involve any other players in his “fun”.

It’s amazing your info thinks Libba has such power that to vote others into leadership roles yet never has one himself.


There was one player that caused all the issues in and out of the hub last year and he was also Dunks major issue. How he gets away with it I have no idea but it was 109283873% not Libba.
As I said to the other reply’s, I don’t know what’s going on. And I don’t think Libba is necessarily a problem. But this player had an axe to grind and he believes it. Dunks obviously had an issue with the club and certain player/players and I have no idea who it or they is, but have suspicions. But I also believe 100% this is true in this players mind.
 

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