Dogs back long-term AFL deal for Beveridge

Western Bulldogs president Peter Gordon expects the AFL club and coach Luke Beveridge to soon thrash out a long-term contract extension.

EASTON WOOD of the Bulldogs high fives fans after winning the AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
EASTON WOOD of the Bulldogs high fives fans after winning the AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Club president Peter Gordon is adamant Luke Beveridge remains the man to take the Western Bulldogs forward, even if they miss the AFL finals for a third straight season.

The Bulldogs sit 15th on the ladder after 12 rounds, having not tasted September action since Beveridge led them to the premiership in 2016.

Beveridge's contract expires at the end of next season but Gordon expects to arrange an extension for the 48-year-old before that point.

"I think that Bevo is a terrific coach, has done a terrific job and I expect him to be coach of the Bulldogs for a long, long time," Gordon told AAP.

"I have total confidence in him. I believe that he has total confidence in me and we'll work those things out like any friends and colleagues would."

The Bulldogs on Wednesday marked the 30-year anniversary of the 'Fightback' campaign which saved Footscray from a merger with Fitzroy.

Fans raised more than $1.6 million to help ensure the club's survival, while Fitzroy went on to merge with the Brisbane Bears in 1996.

The Bulldogs will wear commemorative guernseys featuring their old Footscray logo when they host Melbourne in round 17.

Convincing wins over Richmond, Brisbane and Hawthorn this season have shown what the Dogs are capable of at their best.

But the Dogs limped into their mid-season bye with three straight losses, capped by a 61-point drubbing from premiers West Coast.

"At our best we can beat anyone but unfortunately we've had inconsistencies throughout the year," captain Easton Wood said.

"Our challenge going into the second half of the year is being able to put together those consistent four-quarter performances."

The Bulldogs have consistently been among the youngest and least experienced sides this season, a problem exacerbated by the AFL's clampdown on runners.

"That's obviously a real challenge," Wood said.

"We can still get messages out at different times but as captain and as leaders on the ground, we have to be really mindful of where the young boys and where the entire group is at.

"Whether they feel like we've taken a step back or making sure we're really positive and still in that mind frame of being willing to win the game, not going into that safe brand of footy where things can just spiral out of control.

"That's our challenge. We've got to be vocal and make sure that when things aren't going well - because it happens almost every game - that the young boys look to you as a beacon of support and strength."


AAP