Coach – Luke Beveridge
Points For – 5th
Points Against – 11th
Top 5 Best and Fairest
1 – Josh Dunkley
2 – Tom Liberatore
3 – Aaron Naughton
4 – Marcus Bontempelli
5 – Jackson Macrae
2022 Rising Star Noms
JUH (Round 19)
Ins – Rory Lobb, Liam Jones, Jedd Busslinger, Charlie Clarke, Harvey Gallagher
Outs – Zaine Cordy, Josh Schache, Lachie Hunter, Josh Dunkley, Stefan Martin, Mitch Wallis, Louis Butler, Charlie Parker
Last year must have been disappointing for Dogs fans, they would have gone into the season with genuine premiership challenging aspirations. In the end they were lucky to scrape into the finals, then they went and lost their best player and quite a bit of their depth. The pressure on the coach started last season and without a good season this year, it will only get stronger.
The backline was a nightmare last year for a team that wanted to go deep. It is a sad state of affairs when you bring in Liam Jones to solve any problem you may have but that’s what they have done and it just may work. He will support Gardner and Keath. The run from defence will also be interesting with Richards looking better last year. If Dale and Williams stay fit, they should improve on last season.
The midfield reads on paper like it is something special but the chemistry on the field just doesn’t work. Essentially everything relies on the Bont and will do even more so with Dunkley heading North. They need Smith to keep his nose clean and Macrae to become more damaging. Probably wouldn’t hurt if Treloar at least earned the portion of his wage that the Bulldogs need to pay let alone the folding stuff coming from Collingwood.
They went out of their way to recruit Lobb, who will probably need to play ruck because he doesn’t fit in their forward line. Naughton and JUH will be the targets this year if they stay fit. Something clicked for JUH late last year and I think he will just get better. Then you have Sam Darcy who is a ridiculous talent, every chance Lobb props up their VFL team. Small forwards are West and Weightman who was down last year once his knee drops stopped being rewarded. It’s a very good forward line.
The ruck will be English who couldn’t look any less like a footballer but is a quality ruck and damages around the ground. Lobb may support him but I doubt it. They seem more likely to go one out and rely on the depth in their forward line to give him a chop out. Beveridge has carried the benefit of coaching them to a premiership for six disappointing years. Their game plan is boring and they have been middle of the road with the exception of getting on a roll and snagging a flag since he got there. They have a lot of talent on their list but they constantly underachieve.
I think their list is shallower than last year but the recruitment of Jones could help them down back. He is however old and can spud it up at a level few others are capable of. They will miss Dunkley enormously. The forward line is still young and should be better than last year. The midfield is weaker and relies on individual brilliance. I think they probably finish around the same spot. 7-9 for mine.