Luke Beveridge job on the line at Western Bulldogs

Julian Miller
By: Julian Miller
14/04/2024
News
BettingTop10 News
Luke Beveridge job in danger after 1-4 start

Luke Beveridge has been the head coach of Western Bulldogs since 2015. The club was expected to compete for the Premiership this season. 

News Insights

  • Bulldogs’ 96-67 loss to Essendon has sent the club into disarray.
  • Luke Beveridge could be on the way out after the club’s 1-4 start.
  • Bulldogs may have to tear it all down and focus on rebuilding for next year.
  • “They’re tossing some old out,” says AFL expert.

Bulldogs’ 2024 AFL season has gotten off to a disastrous start. The West Footscray-based club have won just one of their opening five matches. After their last defeat, an embarrassing 96-67 loss to Essendon, many are saying that head coach Luke Beveridge could be sacked. Beveridge has coached Bulldogs since 2015.  

2024 AFL Bulldogs season up in flames already

The AFL betting sites had Western Bulldogs as one of the contenders to qualify for the finals series at the end of the 2024 AFL season. The club currently sit in 11th place, so achieving that feat this season isn’t totally outside the realm of possibility, but it seems incredibly unlikely after Bulldogs poor start to the season.  
 
Through five matches, the Bulldogs have just one win, a 115-67 victory over Gold Coast. After their 29-point Round 5 loss to Essendon, morale could not be lower at the club. Players were seen after the match looking despondent on the pitch and with their heads down on the sideline.  
 
Bulldogs boss Luke Beveridge was under fire after the loss to Essendon.

Beveridge accused of sending “mixed messages”  

Following the 96-67 loss to Essendon, Luke Beveridge’s decision to rotate out some of his older stars in favour of younger, inexperienced players was called into question. The Bulldogs boss deflected the criticism. Instead, he chose to focus on the future.  
 
When I talk to our supporters, I talk to them about the possibilities. Even though we are evolving, the players themselves have created an internal pressure for spots and that is all OK if you end up being a formidable team. But right now we are not,” Beveridge said. “It is all about the now, what's up next and what is up next year.” 
 
These comments were immediately called into question by Bulldogs fans and AFL media alike.  
 
Former Collingwood and Brisbane Lions star Leigh Matthews accused Beveridge of sending “mixed messages” to his players. “The narrative about trying to win this week, the words are being said, [while] I am not sure if the actions are following that," Matthews said on Footy on Nine. 
 
Some commentators went a step further, calling for Beveridge to be sacked.  

Beveridge job under threat 

Luke Beveridge has been in charge of Western Bulldogs since 2015. Some are saying his time at the club could be about to come to an end.  
 
Mark Robinson, Herald Sun Chief Football Writer, said on Fox Footy’s AFL360 that “I don’t think Luke Beveridge is safe.” 
 
“It depends on what the alignment [in the club]  is like, coming into the season they didn’t feel like the team that was going ‘nah, we can’t win it with this group we’re going to change things’, they felt like a team that had removed all the obstacles to nail it down now and finally deliver,” Robinson’s co-host Gerard Whateley explained.  
 
The hosts accused Beveridge of losing the plot and abandoning the club’s strategy just five matches into the season.  
 
“I think the Dogs decided in the off-season they were doing this,” Robinson said. “I don’t think they started the season saying ‘oh, let’s all play the kids’.” 

It’s too early to tell whether this strategy will work in the long-run, or whether it will save Beveridge his job this season. However, we do know that it’s a sign of things to come for Bulldogs this offseason. A rebuild is likely coming to Marvel Stadium after the season. 

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