Who are our leaders?

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Angak

Team Captain
Mar 18, 2021
453
1,070
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
In Bob Murphy's retirement press conference he described his relationship with the Bulldogs as "not as the club I played for... but as my club, the club I love". Bob along with Wood, Boyd, Morris and a young Bont was the nucleus for our successful 2015/16 seasons.

Every successful team over the past 20years has had 4-5 strong leaders within it's playing group. Setting standards, holding each other accountable and putting the club above themselves that has propelled them to the top.
Richmond successful era was led by Cotchin, Rance, Riewoldt & Edwards.
Hawthorn was blessed with Hodge, Mitchell, Roughead & Lewis.
Even this current Melbourne team have a strong group of leaders led by Gawn, Lever, Brayshaw.

I say this to say - there have been clear signs of lack of leadership within the playing group over the past 3-4years. For example:
  • How did we miss out on top four after finishing round 19 top of ladder ? Clearly a few players after the round 19 win against Melbourne decided to party like the season was over.
  • How did we rock up to the start of the 2020 season completely unprepared and unfit?
  • Dunkley wanted to leave the club because he thought the group was unprofessional in the hub. What did the club and playing group do to address it?
  • Why was Bailey Williams allowed to show up to the start of this season completely unprepared?
  • Why is Caleb Daniel allowed to float through most of this season. Is anyone going to ask him to pull his finger out?
  • Why is Tim English and Dunkley allowed to dictate to the coach where they play? This is the antithesis of the values required to be a successful team.


There are countless other examples, some I won't make public, due to the potential harm it may cause the club or players. However I think the issue of leadership is at the core of our inconsistencies from season to season and even within seasons. Bont is a great leader but he needs help.If we don't have a group of 4-5 players take ownership of this club, as Bob would say 'as my club, the club I love' no amount of talent or the right team selection will fix these persistent issues.
 

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Jezdog

Rookie
Sep 21, 2020
24
43
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
People don’t want to hear it, he’s been super successful, and sounds crazy, but sometimes a change is needed within a group to take the group fwd again, to look at it with fresh eyes. It won’t happen, but Clarkson is sitting there waiting, this group has more talent than a lot of his other options. It’s time to move Bevo on.
 

Angak

Team Captain
Mar 18, 2021
453
1,070
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
People don’t want to hear it, he’s been super successful, and sounds crazy, but sometimes a change is needed within a group to take the group fwd again, to look at it with fresh eyes. It won’t happen, but Clarkson is sitting there waiting, this group has more talent than a lot of his other options. It’s time to move Bevo on.
I just don't think a change of coach is our best solution. Much like Richmond and Melbourne we need a reset of the support staff and a full buy in from the playing group.
 

doggiesin08

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 17, 2007
6,243
1,435
australia
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Bushrangers
I think Morris, Boyd and Gowers were our on-field leaders. Losing them, especially Gowers, has hurt us.
Sometimes just to get the heart rate going I like to watch the end of the 2020 game vs Gold Coast where with 30 seconds on the clock and being 5 points up Billy decided to centre the ball from the wing straight down the throat of a Gold Coast player leaving us hopelessly exposed on the counter. Fortunately we managed to hold on, delivering Cal Porter a career win percentage of 100% (even better than Sweety).
 

ScragCity

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 7, 2015
14,188
30,921
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
We need to bring in a heavy hitter. Like a prime Leigh Matthews. A bloke who walks out on the field every weekend with the first thought in his head being, "Alright, who should I kill first?" That kind of thing will set the tone for the night. We need to establish ourselves as a team who are physically intimidating. The kind of team who opposition dread coming up against because they know they are in for a night of pain. That doesn't mean running away from players when they take a mark. That means getting up in their faces. Scratching, biting, eye gouging if necessary. We need to be like the unsociable Hawks of 2012-2015.
 

footscray1973

Premiership Player
May 17, 2004
4,960
9,328
Pepperland
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Footscray
I say this to say - there have been clear signs of lack of leadership within the playing group over the past 3-4years. For example:
  • Dunkley wanted to leave the club because he thought the group was unprofessional in the hub. What did the club and playing group do to address it?
  • Why was Bailey Williams allowed to show up to the start of this season completely unprepared?
  • Why is Caleb Daniel allowed to float through most of this season. Is anyone going to ask him to pull his finger out?
  • Why is Tim English and Dunkley allowed to dictate to the coach where they play? This is the antithesis of the values required to be a successful team.


There are countless other examples, some I won't make public, due to the potential harm it may cause the club or players. However I think the issue of leadership is at the core of our inconsistencies from season to season and even within seasons. Bont is a great leader but he needs help.If we don't have a group of 4-5 players take ownership of this club, as Bob would say 'as my club, the club I love' no amount of talent or the right team selection will fix these persistent issues.
As no posters on here are in the inner sanctum, no one here would know if Dunkley's concerns re professionalism were addressed or not.

Similarly, how do you know Daniel's form slump hasn't been addressed internally?

English and Dunkley dictate where they want to play according to BF. If that is the actual case inside the club, that would be surprising and concerning.

What 'countless other examples'? Some of the examples you've listed are purely BF hyperbole which we all engage in on one side of discussions or the other on here - unless you are Beveridge, English, Dunkley or an assistant coach.
 

ScragCity

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 7, 2015
14,188
30,921
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
We need to bring in a heavy hitter. Like a prime Leigh Matthews. A bloke who walks out on the field every weekend with the first thought in his head being, "Alright, who should I kill first?" That kind of thing will set the tone for the night. We need to establish ourselves as a team who are physically intimidating. The kind of team who opposition dread coming up against because they know they are in for a night of pain. That doesn't mean running away from players when they take a mark. That means getting up in their faces. Scratching, biting, eye gouging if necessary. We need to be like the unsociable Hawks of 2012-2015.

None of this Bailey Smith style headbutt, where the pulling back of the head was more violent than the forward motion/contact. That is weak s**t.
 

Angak

Team Captain
Mar 18, 2021
453
1,070
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
As no posters on here are in the inner sanctum, no one here would know if Dunkley's concerns re professionalism were addressed or not.

Similarly, how do you know Daniel's form slump hasn't been addressed internally?

English and Dunkley dictate where they want to play according to BF. If that is the actual case inside the club, that would be surprising and concerning.

What 'countless other examples'? Some of the examples you've listed are purely BF hyperbole which we all engage in on one side of discussions or the other on here - unless you are Beveridge, English, Dunkley or an assistant coach.

Tim English & Dunkley airing thier displeasure about where they play is on public record. English through his manager and Bevo. With Dunkley one of reasons for his trade request was lack of professionalism and the other was not being played in his best position which he confirmed via an interview with Bob and Andy Maher on SEN. The key issue here is that players are putting themselves above the team and not buying into the ethos that team success above the individual.
 
Last edited:

Mutt

Moderator
Aug 16, 2008
9,186
20,433
Bendigo
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Footscray; Lakers
In Bob Murphy's retirement press conference he described his relationship with the Bulldogs as "not as the club I played for... but as my club, the club I love". Bob along with Wood, Boyd, Morris and a young Bont was the nucleus for our successful 2015/16 seasons.

Every successful team over the past 20years has had 4-5 strong leaders within it's playing group. Setting standards, holding each other accountable and putting the club above themselves that has propelled them to the top.
Richmond successful era was led by Cotchin, Rance, Riewoldt & Edwards.
Hawthorn was blessed with Hodge, Mitchell, Roughead & Lewis.
Even this current Melbourne team have a strong group of leaders led by Gawn, Lever, Brayshaw.

I say this to say - there have been clear signs of lack of leadership within the playing group over the past 3-4years. For example:
  • How did we miss out on top four after finishing round 19 top of ladder ? Clearly a few players after the round 19 win against Melbourne decided to party like the season was over.
  • How did we rock up to the start of the 2020 season completely unprepared and unfit?
  • Dunkley wanted to leave the club because he thought the group was unprofessional in the hub. What did the club and playing group do to address it?
  • Why was Bailey Williams allowed to show up to the start of this season completely unprepared?
  • Why is Caleb Daniel allowed to float through most of this season. Is anyone going to ask him to pull his finger out?
  • Why is Tim English and Dunkley allowed to dictate to the coach where they play? This is the antithesis of the values required to be a successful team.


There are countless other examples, some I won't make public, due to the potential harm it may cause the club or players. However I think the issue of leadership is at the core of our inconsistencies from season to season and even within seasons. Bont is a great leader but he needs help.If we don't have a group of 4-5 players take ownership of this club, as Bob would say 'as my club, the club I love' no amount of talent or the right team selection will fix these persistent issues.
Quality contribution and very timely Angak. Thanks.
 

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Golden_6

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 15, 2014
7,636
14,397
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Chicago Bulls
It’s a somewhat valid question. We have no idea what the leadership is like within the club but in terms of official leadership roles, we’ve had a revolving door in terms of the official leadership titles. VC’s supporting Bont in the previous few years.

Dunkley 2020 - Attempted to leave that year and lost his position
Hunter 2020 - Drink driving in description + personal
Wallis 2021 - Great clubman but obviously can’t crack the seniors consistently
Macrae 2022 - Fantastic player but from the outside comes across as more of a lead by example player
 

adammonerz

Debutant
May 31, 2015
137
317
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Chelsea
Bont is not a leader great player yes, leader I just don't see it, his tenure as captain is reminding me a lot of Griff's bar the 2021 season but I also don't know who else we put in that role, Libba is always someone who steps up on field when we need someone too but I don't think he should be captain of the footy club.
 

Angak

Team Captain
Mar 18, 2021
453
1,070
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
It’s a somewhat valid question. We have no idea what the leadership is like within the club but in terms of official leadership roles, we’ve had a revolving door in terms of the official leadership titles. VC’s supporting Bont in the previous few years.

Dunkley 2020 - Attempted to leave that year and lost his position
Hunter 2020 - Drink driving in description + personal
Wallis 2021 - Great clubman but obviously can’t crack the seniors consistently
Macrae 2022 - Fantastic player but from the outside comes across as more of a lead by example player
It's almost as if the VC role is a poison chalice.
 

Angak

Team Captain
Mar 18, 2021
453
1,070
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Bont is not a leader great player yes, leader I just don't see it, his tenure as captain is reminding me a lot of Griff's bar the 2021 season but I also don't know who else we put in that role, Libba is always someone who steps up on field when we need someone too but I don't think he should be captain of the footy club.
I still feel like Bont is growing into the role. He said in interview recently that he is learning not to avoid confrontation.

All the players love Libba. But Libba has only recently started buying into the professionalism aspect of footy.

Everyone says that Naughton is a future captain. Apparently he is one of the most professional and diligent with his preparation. But he is still super young so it take little while before he can take ownership of this club.
 

BarryMorgan

Premiership Player
Jan 17, 2013
4,210
8,286
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I’m not busy and captained an under 12 Second XI cricket premiership, so if you’re reading this and nodding along, Sam Power, give us a ring.
 

Whoyagot

All Australian
Sep 18, 2018
798
1,285
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Bont, Naughty, Keath and Duryea would be our best leaders at the moment.
 

Dogsman16

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 19, 2012
13,069
15,999
Minas Morgul
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Naughton is the natural successor to Bont. Right age demographic, temperament, already in the leadership group and highly respected by the entire club.

Even on Ads and Dunks podcast they floated him as the future choice.
 

_Mike_

Super Moderator
Aug 10, 2009
30,428
27,732
Victoria
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Tottenham, Montreal Canadiens
Dunkley 2020 - Attempted to leave that year and lost his position
Hunter 2020 - Drink driving in description + personal
Wallis 2021 - Great clubman but obviously can’t crack the seniors consistently
Macrae 2022 - Fantastic player but from the outside comes across as more of a lead by example player


It begs to ask why

  • Hunter's gone off the rails in the last 2 years when prior he was a consistent player and team contributor
  • How & why Wallis was pushed to the outer and cant buy a spot
  • Who is overseeing the young players and keeping them in check to prevent/minimise the occurrence of the B Smith saga

The team appears to lack a combination of that on-field and off-field presence combined with a touch of mongrel and leadership quality.

Off field you really have to look to the list manager and support staff for the players. Have the budget cuts impacted the staffing to the point that the boys are left to their own devise when it comes to how they behave?
 

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