Coach Luke Beveridge.
Coach Luke Beveridge is under fire because of the Western Bulldogs' disappointing season. Image by Morgan Hancock/AAP PHOTOS
  • Australian rules football

Dogs boss ‘blown away’ by attacks on coach Beveridge

Steve Larkin May 8, 2024

The Western Bulldogs’ football chief says he has been “blown away” by aggressive and personal attacks on under-fire coach Luke Beveridge.

The Dogs’ general manager of football Matthew Egan is staunchly defending Beveridge as “an incredible coach”, amid mounting scrutiny.

“I have been blown away with how aggressive some of the comments have been in the media about a guy who has been coaching 10 years at the footy club with a grand final win and obviously being in the grand final only three years ago,” Egan told SEN radio on Wednesday.

“It feels like it has been a little bit aggressive and personal against Bevo.”

The Bulldogs have lost four of their past five matches to slip to 11th spot ahead of Saturday night’s MCG match against struggling Richmond (1-7).

“I go to my experience of working in footy, in the coaching industry, for 16 years,” Egan said.

“And I have never seen a coach connect as well as I have with Bevo and his players.

“His ability to story-tell and create a narrative week to week for the players is amazing.”

Beveridge, who is contracted until the end of next season, and staffers and players met away from their Whitten Oval base on Tuesday after suffering an upset seven-point loss to Hawthorn.

Marcus Bontempelli.
 Despondent Bulldogs players leave the field after their tight loss to the Hawks. Image by Morgan Hancock/AAP PHOTOS 

“It’s a long season so you have got to mix up what we do for reviews,” Egan said.

“And this year we have probably changed our reviews a little bit and tried to make it a real learning environment every time you come in for a review.

“Yesterday’s was off-site, which we haven’t done before this year.

“It was probably more of a discussion on our club and where we’re at and some changes we obviously want to make moving forward.

“Yesterday was probably more about getting off-site, a different environment, connecting as a group, having some conversations around what we want it to look like and progress.”

Beveridge’s talented forward Jamarra Ugle-Hagan has rejected rival interest and signed a two-year contract extension.

The 22-year-old was to have fallen off-contract at the end of this season, but has recommitted until the end of 2026.

Ugle-Hagan, the No.1 pick at the 2020 draft, was tied to the Dogs via the Next Generation academy.

“The Western Bulldogs have looked after me since I was 15-years-old … ever since then, I have just fallen in love with the club and it just feels like I’m at home,” he said.