What They're Saying - The Bulldogs Media Thread - Part 3

yebiga

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Aug 1, 2008
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I think that’s the problem though. We were a young team that won a flag. Why rebuild? Think we definitely overdid it. Why? Can’t say for sure, maybe we couldn’t sell ourselves well enough to established talent because I’m fairly certain even after we won the flag we had enough money to have a crack at Hurley so money wasn’t our issue.

Agree with Boyd throwing a massive curveball into our recruiting but at this point, it may have been a good curveball as harsh as that may sound. Let’s face it, Boyd hasn’t given us much on field since the GF, so that money being free now can only be good because the future for Tom was looking a little gloomy.

Disagree that losing Picken affected things. Given he was 31? when he suffered his concussion and never displayed significant signs of improvement I’d be disappointed if the club hadn’t made plans that didn’t include Picko. His loss has affected on field performances but shouldn’t be affecting our list build much.

You’re spot on about this off season. Absolutely huge for the club and so important we get it right. I’m kinda hoping Bevo takes a Ross Lyon approach with our recruitment this year and let the cobblers do the cobbling. I don’t want to hear about him overruling and making list management decisions. But it’s more than just what we do in terms of trade, free agency and draft this year. Think we need a decent amount of staff changes too. Time for some fresh intel, ideas and views. Maybe a new captain (hello Bont!)

It worked so well for us in 2015. Good draft haul, a big fish, some handy mature talent, fresh coach, captain and CEO. Bevo got the boys to believe in a narrative. We looked like a team. Played like a team. And Jesus did we play some sexy football. It’s the most enjoyable year I’ve had at the football (obviously except for September/October ‘16)
Liam Pickens contribution was immeasurable
Few players possess the hardness he consistently displays in clutch moments.

Fully fit and playing this year and I have no doubt we are playing finals. He makes everyone walk taller.

A truly heroic player
 

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Bemoreboyddog

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Liam Pickens contribution was immeasurable
Few players possess the hardness he consistently displays in clutch moments.

Fully fit and playing this year and I have no doubt we are playing finals. He makes everyone walk taller.

A truly heroic player
Firstly I was talking about the effect his retirement had in our list build which IMO is negligible.

Secondly he would have helped, but I’m doubtful that it would be enough to play finals. Let’s not forget we probably had a better list in 2017 and had Picko playing and we missed finals.
 

In Repair

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Firstly I was talking about the effect his retirement had in our list build which IMO is negligible.

Secondly he would have helped, but I’m doubtful that it would be enough to play finals. Let’s not forget we probably had a better list in 2017 and had Picko playing and we missed finals.
Disagree here. In 2017 Picko suffered a concussion during the game vs Freo, we were in the game at the time, ahead from memory and lost it in the last quarter like many other games that season. I remember thinking at the time that picko’s absence was the turning point in the game and knowing what we know now it’s no surprise he wasn't the same player after that.
 

Hard Ball Get

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THE WESTERN Bulldogs have locked in one of their most promising players for the long-term, with ruckman Tim English signing a contract extension.

The 21-year-old was signed until the end of 2020 but has added a further two years to his deal, tying him to the club until the end of 2022.

The West Australian had reportedly attracted interest from Fremantle, but will continue to lead the Dogs' ruck division.

It has been an interesting year for English, who has played 12 games for the season, taking his career tally to 21.

He has shown flashes of his talent, but has also faced challenges against some of the premier big men in the competition as he continues to build his frame.

"Tim is one of the most exciting young ruckmen in the competition and we are thrilled to have him recommit to our club," Dogs list manager Sam Power said.

"Watching his development as a player over the past three years has been really pleasing.

"Naturally, ruckmen take time to develop, but Tim has taken some big steps this year at AFL level."

English was drafted with pick 19 in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft.
 

Bazza Bulldog

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I'm a little concerned that Timmy has only gone for a 2 year extension
#flightrisk
#gohomefactor
Standard play. He had 3 more years, then will be hitting his prime, so will command big $$$$. Signing on for 5 years now, means we would get him for unders. From Tim's (more likely manager), point of view, it makes complete sense.
 

Hard Ball Get

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WESTERN Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has demanded more influence from Toby McLean after the premiership forward forced his way back in for Saturday night's clash against Geelong.

Dropped after playing the first 12 games this season, McLean delivered a sparkling best-on-ground performance last week in the VFL to earn a recall for the Marvel Stadium battle.

The 23-year-old's output has dropped from 23.9 disposals a game last year to just 17.3 this year, having been asked to return to a more permanent forward role.




Toby McLean wrapped up in the R11 clash with West Coast. Picture AFL Photos


R16 TEAMS Seven axed for Showdown, Freo's shock in


Now, with several key injuries, Beveridge hinted at McLean receiving more midfield minutes against the Cats.

"It's (the message to McLean) one of praise, initially, it's a difficult thing to digest when you get omitted," Beveridge said on Friday morning.

"Toby over the course of time has been an important player for us (but) we think he can be more influential than he has been.



"The challenge for Tobes is to be that player that really forces the issue and ensures that we win more games than we lose, and he's more than capable of that.

"The way he played last week for Footscray indicated that he took the news of the omission on board, and accepted it, and played really well as a midfielder.

AROUND THE STATE LEAGUES Veteran Dog returns, Port stars dominate

"With Tom Liberatore and Mitch Wallis out of the team, there are some opportunities in that midfield area and Toby will probably spend more time in there this time around."

McLean replaces injured defender Caleb Daniel with Beveridge identifying Matt Suckling, Ed Richards and Bailey Williams as contenders to assume his role as chief distributor across half-back.



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The Dogs face Geelong just seven weeks after allowing the Cats their highest score of the season (133) in the 44-point loss at GMHBA Stadium.

MATCH PREVIEW Can the Dogs upset the Cats

"We've reflected on that game when we played them and identified what our vulnerabilities were," he said.

"We've been a bit vulnerable defensively (this season) and we gave up too much score last time against them.

"We were able to score a bit down there at Kardinia Park, which is a good sign for us, but we'll need to minimise that scoreline for them this time around."


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Despite Geelong being unchanged, Beveridge said he was anticipating emergency Gary Rohan to be a late inclusion for the Cats.

Geelong defender Tom Stewart and Bailey Smith tangle in round nine. Picture: AFL Photos


Less than 24 hours after AFL.com.au revealed Victorian clubs were chasing Docker Bradley Hill for 2020, Beveridge said the Dogs were yet to join the race.

VIC CLUB'S CHASE FREO JET Will Bradley Hill leave the Dockers?

Hill and Beveridge previously shared a close bond in their time together at the Hawks from 2012-2014.

"Hilly's a great young fella, I have (got a relationship) but we haven't inquired in Brad's (movements)," Beveridge said.

"I shouldn't say that because if you ask me a question about another player and I don't say that we haven't inquired then you're going to think we have inquired.

"I'd rather stay out of it. Out of respect to our group, I don't like to talk about any of that stuff publicly, it's just not right."
 

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Hard Ball Get

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THERE'S a top-five player in the competition not receiving anywhere near the level of recognition he deserves for his performances this season.

Coming into round 16, Western Bulldogs midfielder Jack Macrae has recorded the fifth-highest average Official AFL Player Ratings points for players who have appeared in at least 10 games this year.

The only four ahead of Macrae are Nat Fyfe, Patrick Cripps, Max Gawn and Marcus Bontempelli.

Jack Macrae tackles Port Adelaide's Travis Boak in the wet at Adelaide Oval. Picture: AFL Photos


They are all names regularly discussed as being among the AFL's elite, but Macrae is never mentioned in that conversation.

There are several reasons to think that's a mistake. Take a look at where the Bulldog ranks in several crucial categories (all rankings are based on averages):

  • 2 for crumbing possessions (ball won at ground level after a marking contest, when Macrae wasn't involved in the original aerial contest)
  • 3 for effective disposals (kicks under 40m that hit the target, kicks over 40m that go to a 50/50 contest or better for the Dogs, and handballs that hit the target)
  • 3 for assisted metres gained (metres gained by the player Macrae passed to)
  • 4 for score assists (create a score by directly passing the football to a fellow Bulldog, whether via a disposal, knock-on, kick off the ground, hitout or when Macrae has won a free kick but someone else takes the advantage and scores)
  • 5 for ground ball gets (contested possessions won at ground level, excluding free kicks)

The numbers are exceptional, which is ironic because Macrae's impact often flies under the radar.

AFL PLAYER RATINGS Who are your club's leaders?

Player Ratings is a measure that uses a variety of stats to come up with a score determining how well someone has performed.

Top 10 players this season (determined by average Player Ratings score, minimum 10 games)

  1. Nat Fyfe (Fremantle)
  2. Patrick Cripps (Carlton)
  3. Max Gawn (Melbourne)
  4. Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs)
  5. Jack Macrae (Western Bulldogs)
  6. Luke Parker (Sydney)
  7. Lachie Neale (Brisbane)
  8. Brodie Grundy (Collingwood)
  9. Rory Sloane (Adelaide)
  10. Ben Cunnington (North Melbourne)
 

mcgleereturns

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THERE'S a top-five player in the competition not receiving anywhere near the level of recognition he deserves for his performances this season.

Coming into round 16, Western Bulldogs midfielder Jack Macrae has recorded the fifth-highest average Official AFL Player Ratings points for players who have appeared in at least 10 games this year.

The only four ahead of Macrae are Nat Fyfe, Patrick Cripps, Max Gawn and Marcus Bontempelli.

Jack Macrae tackles Port Adelaide's Travis Boak in the wet at Adelaide Oval. Picture: AFL Photos


They are all names regularly discussed as being among the AFL's elite, but Macrae is never mentioned in that conversation.

There are several reasons to think that's a mistake. Take a look at where the Bulldog ranks in several crucial categories (all rankings are based on averages):

  • 2 for crumbing possessions (ball won at ground level after a marking contest, when Macrae wasn't involved in the original aerial contest)
  • 3 for effective disposals (kicks under 40m that hit the target, kicks over 40m that go to a 50/50 contest or better for the Dogs, and handballs that hit the target)
  • 3 for assisted metres gained (metres gained by the player Macrae passed to)
  • 4 for score assists (create a score by directly passing the football to a fellow Bulldog, whether via a disposal, knock-on, kick off the ground, hitout or when Macrae has won a free kick but someone else takes the advantage and scores)
  • 5 for ground ball gets (contested possessions won at ground level, excluding free kicks)

The numbers are exceptional, which is ironic because Macrae's impact often flies under the radar.

AFL PLAYER RATINGS Who are your club's leaders?

Player Ratings is a measure that uses a variety of stats to come up with a score determining how well someone has performed.

Top 10 players this season (determined by average Player Ratings score, minimum 10 games)

  1. Nat Fyfe (Fremantle)
  2. Patrick Cripps (Carlton)
  3. Max Gawn (Melbourne)
  4. Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs)
  5. Jack Macrae (Western Bulldogs)
  6. Luke Parker (Sydney)
  7. Lachie Neale (Brisbane)
  8. Brodie Grundy (Collingwood)
  9. Rory Sloane (Adelaide)
  10. Ben Cunnington (North Melbourne)
Based on the last two B&Fs, his own club doesn’t notice him as much as they should ( or like many of us here, disregards AFL Player rankings)


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mcgleereturns

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Good luck to the guy but I’m sick of the stories that imply our culture wasn’t supportive. “at Brisbane he has discovered a culture of caring for each other and where no one is left out that has made the long road back one of the more bearable.”


Marcus Adams says support at Brisbane Lions has helped him return to AFL footy
Andrew Hamilton, The Courier-Mail

He’s been out of AFL action for almost a year, but Lions recruit Marcus Adams says that blow has been cushioned by a culture of caring at his new club.
Marcus Adams can count the days since he last played an AFL game — when he runs out for his Lions debut against GWS today the number will be 343.

It is no surprise a footballer who has been unable to play the game he loves knows exactly how long it has been.

The surprise is he doesn’t count it among the worst times of his life.

Every footballer will tell you there is no place more lonely than rehab, but Adams begs to differ.

He said at Brisbane he has discovered a culture or caring for each other and where no one is left out that has made the long road back one of the more bearable.

“If I had been told I had to be in rehab for my first six months at my new club I would have assumed it wouldn’t have been such a good time,’’ he said.

“But the way the group is, they are respectful and supportive and they integrate the injured guys into everything.

“The side is going well and it is one I’m very excited to get my chance to play in it, but it is the whole club on and off the field that I’m loving being part of.’’

A major part he cruised through a tough start has been coach Chris Fagan.

“I think he has just got a great ability to relate to the group as individuals and also as a whole,’’ he said.

“He makes everyone feel as good as they possibly can, they really enjoy coming into work each day.’’

The support from Fagan was evident with his call up after just two NEAFL games, the first on restricted minutes and then a full game in a whitewash of Redlands last week.

“I was incredibly surprised to get the call up because there has been such a strong performance in the NEAFL,’’ he said.

“I knew Fages was there for me, in terms of I knew they brought me into the club because they saw a position for me in the side, but I didn’t expect it to be so quick.

“So the faith he showed is real.’’

Adams is known as a defender but has revealed he has spent time in attack in the past and that versatility was something Fagan was interested in when the discussion about him joining the Lions were held.

“Forward is something I really enjoyed and it was something that we spoke about,’’ he said.

“I feel like I have a better understanding of what I can do down back, but to be honest I will play anywhere to get a game.

“With Harris going as well as he is and his ability to take on the big guys, if I was pigeon-holed in that role I might not get a game.

“Darcy Gardiner is down there too and is in pretty good form.

“So that versatility makes life a bit easier.’’


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Testekill

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Good luck to the guy but I’m sick of the stories that imply our culture wasn’t supportive. “at Brisbane he has discovered a culture of caring for each other and where no one is left out that has made the long road back one of the more bearable.”

Adams is known as a defender but has revealed he has spent time in attack in the past and that versatility was something Fagan was interested in when the discussion about him joining the Lions were held.

“Forward is something I really enjoyed and it was something that we spoke about,’’ he said.

“I feel like I have a better understanding of what I can do down back, but to be honest I will play anywhere to get a game.

And yet he hated playing as a forward for us. Also if he would just lose some goddamn muscle mass then his body would hold up better, seriously he's carrying far too much.
 

maddog37

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Good luck to the guy but I’m sick of the stories that imply our culture wasn’t supportive. “at Brisbane he has discovered a culture of caring for each other and where no one is left out that has made the long road back one of the more bearable.”


Marcus Adams says support at Brisbane Lions has helped him return to AFL footy
Andrew Hamilton, The Courier-Mail

He’s been out of AFL action for almost a year, but Lions recruit Marcus Adams says that blow has been cushioned by a culture of caring at his new club.
Marcus Adams can count the days since he last played an AFL game — when he runs out for his Lions debut against GWS today the number will be 343.

It is no surprise a footballer who has been unable to play the game he loves knows exactly how long it has been.

The surprise is he doesn’t count it among the worst times of his life.

Every footballer will tell you there is no place more lonely than rehab, but Adams begs to differ.

He said at Brisbane he has discovered a culture or caring for each other and where no one is left out that has made the long road back one of the more bearable.

“If I had been told I had to be in rehab for my first six months at my new club I would have assumed it wouldn’t have been such a good time,’’ he said.

“But the way the group is, they are respectful and supportive and they integrate the injured guys into everything.

“The side is going well and it is one I’m very excited to get my chance to play in it, but it is the whole club on and off the field that I’m loving being part of.’’

A major part he cruised through a tough start has been coach Chris Fagan.

“I think he has just got a great ability to relate to the group as individuals and also as a whole,’’ he said.

“He makes everyone feel as good as they possibly can, they really enjoy coming into work each day.’’

The support from Fagan was evident with his call up after just two NEAFL games, the first on restricted minutes and then a full game in a whitewash of Redlands last week.

“I was incredibly surprised to get the call up because there has been such a strong performance in the NEAFL,’’ he said.

“I knew Fages was there for me, in terms of I knew they brought me into the club because they saw a position for me in the side, but I didn’t expect it to be so quick.

“So the faith he showed is real.’’

Adams is known as a defender but has revealed he has spent time in attack in the past and that versatility was something Fagan was interested in when the discussion about him joining the Lions were held.

“Forward is something I really enjoyed and it was something that we spoke about,’’ he said.

“I feel like I have a better understanding of what I can do down back, but to be honest I will play anywhere to get a game.

“With Harris going as well as he is and his ability to take on the big guys, if I was pigeon-holed in that role I might not get a game.

“Darcy Gardiner is down there too and is in pretty good form.

“So that versatility makes life a bit easier.’’


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Gagf. Spanker.
 

zucvv

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Premiership Bulldog Clay Smith takes up boxing

Clay O’Donohue Smith tried to prepare himself for when the cheering stopped, buy hey, how do you replace playing in front of 99,981 people on AFL Grand Final day when your Western Bulldogs team has come from nowhere to win a flag?

And Smith knew it could never have happened without his four goals from 26 possessions in a pulsating preliminary final win over Greater Western Sydney at the Sydney Showgrounds.

But a year later he played his last game due to chronic knee issues which left the then 25-year-old in a bad place. Smith spoke this week about life since retirement.

JON ANDERSON: How are you travelling?

CLAY SMITH: I got out to 90kg after retiring last year and lost some focus, had some down moments. I needed to do something competitive. I really missed footy and boxing came around at a perfect time. I started eating well again and felt better in myself.

JA: It’s hard to relate to what injury has taken from you.

CS: The first five to six weeks after retirement were dark times, then I was OK for a while but really bad again when the season started this year. I see someone to help with the mental side of things. Boxing has helped me a whole lot and my mum and wife, Sarah, understand why I’m doing it.

JA: Boxing is a hard way to make a living, Clay.

CS: I had a fight at The Pavilion a few weeks ago in front of 800 people. The bloke looked pretty scary and was a tough little bugger, but I won on points. I was knackered but I loved being in front of a crowd again.

JA: When is your next fight?

CS: On a Wild Will promotion in my old home town of Bairnsdale alongside another couple of local lads in Blake Wells and Jason Whateley on October 12. I’m trying to get down to 79kg so I can fight at light heavyweight.
 

Hard Ball Get

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TOBY McLean being dropped by the Western Bulldogs three weeks ago shocked most outside the club. But the player himself wasn't so surprised.

McLean returned to the Dogs' side for its come-from-behind win over Geelong on Saturday night after two weeks out of the senior side.


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Playing mainly in the forward line before his omission ahead of round 14, McLean had struggled to impact games in the manner he knew how.

So when coach Luke Beveridge made the decision that a stint in the VFL might help the 23-year-old, McLean wasn't taken aback.

"It definitely didn't surprise me. I know I have the potential to be a better player than I had been, and I enjoyed going back and I got some confidence up which was good and was luckily enough to get a recall this week," McLean told AFL.com.au.

"I haven't played in the VFL for two years so to go back it definitely refreshed me."

Up, up, and away: Toby McLean takes off against the Cats. Picture: Michael Willson


McLean's rise into a Western Bulldog regular was a sharp one. After playing four games in his debut season in 2015, he played 15 the following year, including being a key player in the Dogs' breakthrough Grand Final win over Sydney.

He missed just three games across the following two seasons, and had played 46 consecutive games before Beveridge decided he needed some time to get back to his best.

"Having the two weeks off was a bit disappointing, but I put my head down and played as well as I could in the VFL and I was lucky enough to get a recall," he said.

SEPTEMBER SNIFF Dogs season alive after downing top Cats

"I'm a fifth-year player now and he just wanted more out of me. He wanted me to influence games a lot more than I had been. I had been playing a lot of forward time this year and I found it difficult to adjust from the 50-50 midfield role that I had last year.

"Playing as a forward it wasn't about how many possessions I was getting, it was more about the want and the effort. I went back and got to play some midfield time in the VFL and enjoyed my time there."

McLean returned to form against the Cats, gathering 23 disposals in the Dogs' 10-point win. He also had a key moment in the final minute of the game, when he was able to secure a ball-up as Geelong were making a late charge.


WE'RE NOT A BAD SIDE Bevo thinking of finals

"I knew I was by myself and I wanted to get the ball as forward as I could. I think I was getting held a bit, which was a bit dodgy, but I was able to contain the ball and get another ball-up which was good for the team in the end," he said.

Beveridge was also pleased with McLean's return, particularly in the frantic final term.

"I felt like he made a really solid contribution. In that last quarter we needed a bit more one-on-one and aerial presence, and he's not a tall player, Toby, but he's a great competitor and I thought he had an enormous last quarter," Beveridge said.

THE RUN HOME Are there shades of 2017 about these Tigers?

"I felt like he really influenced the result with what he was able to do."
 

Scary_Foot_9

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I find it very strange that Bevo is basically the most well regarded coach in the league from a player care and welfare perspective and yet Adams almost from day one was looking for the exit and seemingly miserable. Maybe he just flat out hated Victoria and needed more sun being from WA.
 

Northernsoul74

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TOBY McLean being dropped by the Western Bulldogs three weeks ago shocked most outside the club. But the player himself wasn't so surprised.

McLean returned to the Dogs' side for its come-from-behind win over Geelong on Saturday night after two weeks out of the senior side.

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Playing mainly in the forward line before his omission ahead of round 14, McLean had struggled to impact games in the manner he knew how.

So when coach Luke Beveridge made the decision that a stint in the VFL might help the 23-year-old, McLean wasn't taken aback.

"It definitely didn't surprise me. I know I have the potential to be a better player than I had been, and I enjoyed going back and I got some confidence up which was good and was luckily enough to get a recall this week," McLean told AFL.com.au.

"I haven't played in the VFL for two years so to go back it definitely refreshed me."

Up, up, and away: Toby McLean takes off against the Cats. Picture: Michael Willson


McLean's rise into a Western Bulldog regular was a sharp one. After playing four games in his debut season in 2015, he played 15 the following year, including being a key player in the Dogs' breakthrough Grand Final win over Sydney.

He missed just three games across the following two seasons, and had played 46 consecutive games before Beveridge decided he needed some time to get back to his best.

"Having the two weeks off was a bit disappointing, but I put my head down and played as well as I could in the VFL and I was lucky enough to get a recall," he said.

SEPTEMBER SNIFF Dogs season alive after downing top Cats

"I'm a fifth-year player now and he just wanted more out of me. He wanted me to influence games a lot more than I had been. I had been playing a lot of forward time this year and I found it difficult to adjust from the 50-50 midfield role that I had last year.

"Playing as a forward it wasn't about how many possessions I was getting, it was more about the want and the effort. I went back and got to play some midfield time in the VFL and enjoyed my time there."

McLean returned to form against the Cats, gathering 23 disposals in the Dogs' 10-point win. He also had a key moment in the final minute of the game, when he was able to secure a ball-up as Geelong were making a late charge.


WE'RE NOT A BAD SIDE Bevo thinking of finals

"I knew I was by myself and I wanted to get the ball as forward as I could. I think I was getting held a bit, which was a bit dodgy, but I was able to contain the ball and get another ball-up which was good for the team in the end," he said.

Beveridge was also pleased with McLean's return, particularly in the frantic final term.

"I felt like he made a really solid contribution. In that last quarter we needed a bit more one-on-one and aerial presence, and he's not a tall player, Toby, but he's a great competitor and I thought he had an enormous last quarter," Beveridge said.

THE RUN HOME Are there shades of 2017 about these Tigers?

"I felt like he really influenced the result with what he was able to do."
That’s how you respond to being dropped. Well done Toby.
 

mcgleereturns

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That’s how you respond to being dropped. Well done Toby.
Think Toby can be that small forward we want. Can pressure, can mark, can tackle, can create, can kick, can move well. Just a case of can he consistently. If not this year, should be the goal of preseason to prepare for it.
Our last three games have been the closest to the manic pressure of 2016 and Toby was a hugely underrated part of that, particularly in the last minutes of Prelim. Midfield is stacked and I think he has attributes the others don’t as a forward. Him in a one out open situation I would back in both in air and on ground if we get the forward structure correct. Time is still on his and our side in that development.


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