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Champion Director

The AFL have poured more money into GWS than a big screen Hollywood Blockbuster and if the Giants do not make the Grand Final this year, it would, in movie terms, be considered a total flop. On the other hand the Western Bulldogs are more like the surfy kid with his Gopro, hoping to crack the big time.

This year that surfy with the GoPro is Luke Beveridge coach of the Western Bulldogs.

In 2016 the Bulldogs have lost so many players through injury it is hard to believe that they could totally dismantle West Coast in the first elimination final in Perth and then convincingly thump Hawthorn at the home of footy the following week.

Beveridge knows all too well that for his side stand in the middle on Grand Final Day he will need the faithful Dogs supporters to show up in numbers. The lack of silverware at the Whitten Oval will surely work in Beveridges favour if they do make it through with their only premiership back in 1954.

Australia loves the underdog and given Sydney has no shortage of marquee players, premierships and AFL allowances, most AFL fans from around the nation will be backing Beveridges team on the day if they make it.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

The Bulldogs coach what this club has endured and how long the supporters and members have had to wait, dedicated to the last.

This ‘everyman’ understanding was reflected today when Beveridge had breakfast supplied for busloads of traveling Bulldog fans.

Wodonga, which is on the Victorian side of the border with New South Wales, had food vans available to cater for hungry supporters making the long journey.

Those in the travelling party received $10 along with a note from Beveridge.

“Thank you for jumping on board the Bulldogs Bus to cheer on our boys in Sydney,” the letter read.

“It is incredible to have so many of our members and supporters make the huge effort in getting on the bus to watch our boys play and we are so grateful for the ongoing support you continue to show us.

“As a small thank you for your efforts, we would like to pay for your breakfast this morning. The City of Wodonga have put on some great food vans so get out, stretch the legs and have a safe drive.”

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Well played Luke.

This man understands how to communicate with people from all walks of life better than most. An example of this is in an article from 

“I was at Bulldogs training earlier this year when I saw a couple approach Beveridge to speak to him. He shook their hands and greeted them warmly.

At first, I thought they were introducing themselves, saying G’day to the coach of their club. But Luke spoke to them for such a long time and was so genuine and present in their conversation. So I figured they must have been friends — acquaintances, at the very least.

Then Luke hugged one of them — they were definitely friends, must be.

But as they parted, I overheard him say “nice to meet you”.

Having been a player he knows what drives and motivates a league professional and has learned how to extract the best out of them. Skills, fitness, passion etc. come stock standard in this Bulldog lineup but the real hidden gem that Bevo has mined in this group is genuine mental toughness.

Even after losing key personnel throughout the season, this team stood defiant against the odds.

Against both of last years grand finalists in West Coast and Hawthorn, the Dogs were not overwhelmed by the mountains they had to climb. As if part of the Beveridge strategy, they first quelled the home ground advantage by silencing the crowd. Then, one by one, the Bulldogs machine began snuffing out the opposition forward half entries. Ultimately dragging the battle into the midfield, or the doghouse, where Bevos men ran their opponents ragged. Full tilt for four quarters.

Some of the media ‘experts’ claim because the Bulldogs lack marquee players, they will not get to the big dance in October. By contrast they come up against the Giants outfit today who are overflowing with talented players and brimming with confidence after recently defeating the Swans.

So really, does a champion team always beat a team of champions?

Today we’ll be watching a superbly written & directed movie with an unknown cast verses our cookie cutter Hollywood ‘blockbuster’ with no plot, no story, but features all the hype and million dollar actors.

Go Dogs!

Get off the fence

Billy P

 

 

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