Real amateur hour stuff by John Ralph. No mention of Jake’s progress on the training track or what position he could potentially play this year:
Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge says his public role in Jake Stringer saga didn’t hurt star’s trade value
LUKE Beveridge says he has no regrets about his public role in the trading of Jake Stringer, adamant it did not weaken the club’s bargaining position.
But the Dogs premiership coach concedes a string of subsequent negative headlines about Stringer’s behaviour might have.
The Dogs play their second JLT Community Series game on Saturday, with Beveridge saying key talls Tom Boyd and Josh Schache are still not locks for Round 1.
Boyd is fit but has not played either JLT game, the high-priced 22-year-old likely to have to win his spot back from the VFL.
Beveridge could not be more optimistic about the club’s chances this year, saying the Dogs are ready to hit back after a disappointing premiership defence.
But he admits some Bulldogs fans wondering exactly why the club traded Stringer will never get detailed answers from their senior coach.
Jake Stringer left the Bulldogs in controversial circumstances.
Jake Stringer is making a fresh start at Essendon. Picture: Michael Klein
The Dogs eventually accepted picks 25 and 30 for Stringer but made up for receiving “unders” by securing Josh Schache for selections 25 and 40.
“The details in regards to Jake won’t be overstated from my court,’’ Beveridge told the Herald Sun.
“I think Bulldogs fans understand that we’ve expressed that we just felt it was the best alternative for both parties.
“I don’t think I was strong on him publicly. I just stated it was time for both parties to move on and that’s all I said.
“Ultimately, it was up to other clubs whether or not Jake appealed to them and Essendon were very keen which is fantastic for Jake.”
Premiership hero Boyd is one of the highest-paid players in the AFL this year but clearly has a challenge to reclaim his spot.
“Tom seems to be coping and managing extremely well,” Beveridge said in an interview that will also be shown on Fox Footy today.
“He hasn’t missed a session since we started and his work on the track is extremely encouraging. It’s a bit like (Josh Schache), time will tell whether or not he’s in our starting 22 at the start of the year.
“There’s a lot of positions up for grabs when you think about the uncertainty at the end of 2017. Tom’s gearing to try to grab one of them.”
Tom Boyd has to fight for his spot in the Bulldogs best 22. Picture: Nicole Garmston
Beveridge said it was impossible to know how the premiership had affected players like Tom Liberatore, who battled through an inconsistent 2017.
But in his most optimistic comments about Liberatore, he said the free agent was speaking positively about his future at the club.
“It’s difficult to quantify the effect that the previous year had on many of them. What affect did it have on Tom and some of his teammates?
“He’s had a strong pre-season, he’s talking in encouraging mode about his future. Obviously he’s up for contract at the end of this year.
“And we’d love Tom to be a part of our future beyond 2018, so it’s all up to us to work with him and get the absolute most out of him and his football ability and help him influence the team.”