Opinion Do you have faith in our list?

Do you have faith in our current list regardless of who coaches them?


  • Total voters
    55

Remove this Banner Ad

We are a 6 - 10 list in the AFL. Our main issue is we play players out of position and we have the worst forward line coach in the afl
 
When you look at recruitment across the league the only hard position to fill is the KPD or two we need.

Mids, wings and small forwards who pressure and small to mid defenders are the easiest thing to recruit.

Obviously this off season will be difficult with our current draft assets but we have most of the hardest to fill positions and that’s our spine with a lot of years left
I don't think we need any tall defenders personally unless buss leaves in which case we should pick up another developing tall. Otherwise I'd back in JOD, Croft, Buss as the developing talls with Coffield, Khamis and Co as the mediums, obviously with the older guys bridging the gap.
 

Log in to remove this ad.

The list looks pretty good for the future if we can build out the midfield a bit and the taller defenders develop as expected. That is a couple of years off, so need to get Buss in ASAP and retain him. Bazlenka's signature would be ideal too.
 
Our weakness is our defence.
Jones plays pretty much a lone hand.
Dale, JJ and Ed are great attacking halfbacks, but not great stoppers.
JOD, Buku not strong enough, new to the game.
Duryea getting past it.

We don't have enough hard-nosed backs who can shut players down.

Gardner and Keath are OK but not game changers.
Buss and Croft - who knows.

Is sending Naughton back the answer?

Our Mids and Forwards are as good as any.

KM
 
Relevant article today in The Age (paywalled): https://www.theage.com.au/sport/afl...y-rate-the-bulldogs-list-20240506-p5fp5j.html

Can't argue with much of this analysis. Of course doesn't mean we couldn't extract more out of the list with changes in the coaching ranks.
The notion that the Western Bulldogs have a top four list is off the mark according to four of the five club list managers The Age asked to anonymously assess the Bulldogs’ list following their upset loss to Hawthorn.

Such judgments of the list are at the heart of the many external assessments being made of Luke Beveridge’s performance as coach during 2024, as club president Kylie Watson-Wheeler told the ABC on Monday “it was too early in the season to panic or make rash decisions”.


Four of the five club officials, speaking anonymously to make honest assessments of an opposition list, put the Bulldogs among the bracket of teams that could finish anywhere from fifth to 13th, depending on variables such as luck, injury management, coaching, motivation, team synergy, skill execution and leadership.
Collingwood, Sydney, the Giants, Geelong, the Brisbane Lions, Melbourne and Port Adelaide are considered the main top-four chances this season.

One recruiter described the Bulldogs’ list profile as “confusing”, while another said their defence was “wobbly”. A third list manager said the Dogs’ list indisputably carries top-end talent that is the envy of other clubs, but then it “just drops away”.
The one list manager impressed with what is at the Bulldogs’ disposal put their list “in the top bracket because of the number of A-graders”.


The Western Bulldogs have Marcus Bontempelli, Aaron Naughton, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, Bailey Smith, Tim English and, eventually, Sam Darcy in that category.

They have a second tier of players – some premiership players, All-Australians, or both – who, while still of AFL quality, are not at the peak of their careers. These players include Caleb Daniel, Jack Macrae, Jason Johannisen, Taylor Duryea, Bailey Dale and Tom Liberatore (who was outstanding before being concussed in round five) and players on the up such as Ed Richards, Cody Weightman and Rhylee West.


The has club re-signed Ugle-Hagan for two years and Naughton for nine, locking in a two-pronged attack that is yet to match the heights of Carlton’s forward duo Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay. Once Ugle-Hagan’s contract kicks in next season, that is the output they will be expected to meet as they will be on similar money.
Smith and English remain unsigned beyond this season, while Bontempelli’s and Darcy’s contracts finish at the end of 2025. Bontempelli offers more value than any contract he has ever signed, but there is an acknowledgment he needs others to share his burden while English, last year’s All-Australian ruckman, is holding up his end of the bargain. However, clubs constantly debate how much TPP money should be invested in ruckmen.
The Bulldogs know there are gaps, trading into the top 10 in last year’s draft to secure midfielder Ryley Sanders, having landed Ugle-Hagan and Darcy in consecutive years in 2020 and 2021 at pick one and pick two respectively as a Next Generation Academy graduate and a father-son recruit.
They also drafted tall defender Jedd Busslinger in the first round in 2022. He is yet to play a senior match but has been reasonable in the club’s undefeated VFL team.

With Rory Lobb and father-son Jordan Croft also on their list, one recruiter suggested the club trade out a quality tall, split the pick and add speed to what is – although damaging when they get on top of the opposition – a one-paced midfield.
Another recruiter agreed, saying many of the talls operate better “when they are the main man” and wondered whether that was a reason why the big names weren’t functioning as well as their fans expected.


That recruiter said he found the list “confusing”, with the addition of Lachie Bramble and Oskar Baker as mature-aged players through the pre-season supplemental selection process making “no sense”.

Even the recruiter who assessed the list as A-Grade admitted that the bottom six players selected in the team each week were not as strong as those who played for other contenders.

One recruiter also said the loss of Josh Dunkley to Brisbane and Patrick Lipinski to Collingwood – both of whom played in last year’s grand final – was a misstep the club is yet to recover from, with Adam Treloar the only player traded in since 2020 who has had an impact.

The club-wide review that saw major changes made to the coaching set-up underneath Beveridge was followed by the Peter Jackson review, which backed the coach while recommending that the workload be shared among football department leaders with Matthew Egan being given an operational role as football manager.

But a bounce is yet to occur.

Having missed finals last season after losing eight of their final 11 matches, the club have won just three of their first eight games to sit in 11th spot. Seven of the 13 losses in that period have been by a margin of seven points or fewer.


Although they do not have a first-round pick this season, they would be likely to gain one if the injured Smith departs, with Geelong and Hawthorn among his suitors. Gaining an early pick would be handy, said one recruiter, as it could be split and used to draft talent in what recruiters say is shaping as an even and deep draft.

Watson-Wheeler said finals were the obvious ambition at the start of the season, with the Dogs having finished ninth the year before. They play Richmond this weekend before games against the Giants, Sydney and Collingwood.

“I think that we are in a bit of a phase of evolution within the team in determining how we make sure we deliver that high performance that we have the ability to do,” Watson-Wheeler said.
 
People woulda talked down the Pies list when they were bottom 4 under Buckley as well. Back then they leaked goals like us and could barely score goals. Then when McRae took over they went to prelims in one year and then won a flag the year after. The only real change to their list was getting in Nick Daicos. Even prime Gary Ablett couldnt get the suns to make finals so he definitely was not the solo reason. They still have the same backline and their forward line is still average with no good key talls. Thats how much of a difference coaching can make in creating a gameplan that complements the list you have. You dont need a stacked list (even though I disagree with the above article and believe our list is stacked)

Id say most teams have players you can work with besides North and Richmond/West Coast with their injuries. However I still believe our list is easily a top 8 list. We generally dominate VFL so our depth is clearly not bad. Our defensive structure is just not up to AFL standard which is why we lose to bottom 4 teams. Teams that are bottom 4 because they are incapable of scoring against every other AFL team. The issue is clear as day. The people that manage the way the backline defends needs to improve or change. There are plenty of matchup mistakes and structural defensive issues that I can see in the previous 8 games so surely people being paid should be able to review footage and correct their mistakes in managing the team correctly.
 
Last edited:
I don't think we're a top 4 list but I think we're a finals making list and I'm sure as hell we shouldn't be losing to the likes of Hawthorn. So that to me indicates a coaching problem.
 
Still maintain we have the foundations of a good list and can have a GWS/Collingwood style rebound. Role players will start looking a hell of a lot better with a more cohesive game plan

Hard to judge a list with so much confusion in so many areas
 
Pending we can keep ahold of the 2 in bold our best 22 with players u25 years old is actually fairly decent we just need to start blooding the younger guys instead of Bramble/Baker/Harmes/Poulter/JJ/Doc types who are either cooked or never going to make it

FB: JOD Busslinger Cleary
HB: Freijah Croft Richards
C: Bedendo Sanders Gallagher
HF: West Naughton VDM
FF: Flea JUH Clarke
R: Darcy B.Smith Garcia
 
Pending we can keep ahold of the 2 in bold our best 22 with players u25 years old is actually fairly decent we just need to start blooding the younger guys instead of Bramble/Baker/Harmes/Poulter/JJ/Doc types who are either cooked or never going to make it

FB: JOD Busslinger Cleary
HB: Freijah Croft Richards
C: Bedendo Sanders Gallagher
HF: West Naughton VDM
FF: Flea JUH Clarke
R: Darcy B.Smith Garcia
I was a bit on the fence about Smith but now it is better for both parties if he stays. Throw in some of our more experienced players under 30 likely or high possibility of remaining:
Bont
Macrae
Coffield
Harmes
Dale
English

There is a good base that will not take to long to turn around as long as we properly develop those under 25's listed.

Really the question of the thread should be do you you have faith the list is strong enough to be challenging in the next 2 to 3 years and the answer for me is unequivocally yes
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

I was a bit on the fence about Smith but now it is better for both parties if he stays. Throw in some of our more experienced players under 30 likely or high possibility of remaining:
Bont
Macrae
Coffield
Harmes
Dale
English

There is a good base that will not take to long to turn around as long as we properly develop those under 25's listed.

Really the question of the thread should be do you you have faith the list is strong enough to be challenging in the next 2 to 3 years and the answer for me is unequivocally yes
The key there is Baz. All the whispers (roars?) are that he is gone and that it's only a question of to which club and for what in exchange.

That's a big challenge for Power and the club. If they can get him to stay even on just a 2 year deal that will be a huge statement. Maybe even a line in the sand moment.

If not, our u25 midfield - even with an emerging Sanders - is looking pretty thin. Naturally we'd be recruiting some other 18yo midfielder but you can't expect them to have a Rowell or Reid type of impact straight away. We'd want Bont to have some longevity as a player. Assuming he stays of course!
 
I believe current Talents are Liam Jones, Libba, Bont, Nauhgton, English, JUH, Busslinger, Dale, Sanders, Richards, Macrae, Daniel, Darcy, Weightman, Croft, Bailey Smith, Treloar. Rest are role players, too young and raw, and or not rated/picked for the first round in the draft. Much of the talents are key forwards, inside mids, ruck or rebound defenders. However of those talents Macrae & Daniel have fallen away or nearing the end like Libba, Jones & Treloar. Biggest upside is the forwards are young so in time they'll be very good.

I think going forward if they retain buss & smith the future in 2026 should look like this.

Richards, Buss, Dale,
Coffield, *JOD, *Buku,
Harmes, Bont, Smith,
Weightman, Darcy, *Garcia,
Naughton, JUH, *West,
English, Sanders, *Gallagher,
*VDM, Croft, Cleary, *Clarke, Williams,

Gardner, Frejaih* Lachlan* O'Driscoll*

This assumes that Lobb, Macrae, and Daniel are all traded before their contract ends and no one else is retained that is not talented enough outside Buku, West, VDM, Clarke, Gallagher, Garcia. Also included those drafted last season.

This side if expected should be about mid table. However if the dogs can trade in some good players between end of season and end of next season then finals bound is much more possible.
 
I put together a team of players under 24. I think it shows a strong core of youth currently on the list.

FB. Buss JOD Khamis
HB. Red Croft Cleary
C. Gags Sanders Freijah
HF. West Naughton A.Jones
FF. Flea Jamarra Clarke
R. Darcy B. Smith Garcia
INT. Coffield Poulter Mcniel O'driscoll
SUB. Bedendo
EMG. L.Smith
 
I put together a team of players under 24. I think it shows a strong core of youth currently on the list.

FB. Buss JOD Khamis
HB. Red Croft Cleary
C. Gags Sanders Freijah
HF. West Naughton A.Jones
FF. Flea Jamarra Clarke
R. Darcy B. Smith Garcia
INT. Coffield Poulter Mcniel O'driscoll
SUB. Bedendo
EMG. L.Smith
Yep keep B Smith and Buss and this can turn very quickly
 
I think one glaring issue has been our acquisitions from other clubs since we won the flag.

This won’t be all of them.

The following players were basically unsuccessful beyond a season or so (if that):
  • Cloke
  • Lloyd
  • Trengove
  • Martin
  • O’Brien
  • Schache
  • Lobb
  • Harmes
  • Poulter

Baker and Bramble are pending but I doubt they will be long term players.

The better ones:
  • Treloar
  • Duryea
  • Crozier
  • Keath
  • Jones
  • Bruce (although he only had one good season and could go in the other list)

Even though Treloar has been good, we had a stacked midfield already, with Lipinski and Smith coming up. Imagine we had instead pressed Collingwood for Grundy, Cameron or even Cox. Might have fixed our ruck issue.

With Bruce, I don’t know we would have been much worse if we’d not bothered and stuck with Schache and Naughton for another few seasons.

So I don’t think we’ve been targeting the right players at all, and it’s come at the expense of list spots, cap room, development, opportunities in the side and draft picks (though not too many).

Part of it has been our obsession with targeting mature talls, most of whom have not worked. Ironically most of our successful talls are home grown.

We’ve also kept a lot of players for a long time who have not been in the side or available for long stretches. Crozier, Wallis, Roberts, Jong, Schache, McLean etc. We’ve probably been too generous with longer deals than needed.

I think we’d be a lot better if we’d cured the ruck issue, kept Lipinski etc and gone to the draft with more second rounders to replenish the midfield.
Treloar is basically holding our midfield together - an inside bull - would be winning our B&F by a country mile
 
I put together a team of players under 24. I think it shows a strong core of youth currently on the list.

FB. Buss JOD Khamis
HB. Red Croft Cleary
C. Gags Sanders Freijah
HF. West Naughton A.Jones
FF. Flea Jamarra Clarke
R. Darcy B. Smith Garcia
INT. Coffield Poulter Mcniel O'driscoll
SUB. Bedendo
EMG. L.Smith
I feel better seeing that list - a lot of talent there
 
Back
Top