Kane Cornes has questioned why Luke Beveridge hasn't fronted the media so far this AFL pre-season, highlighting the fact that even Sam Mitchell has done so despite a serious health issue. The Western Bulldogs are going through a tumultuous time, with assistant coaches leaving and reports that coach Beveridge isn't seeing eye-to-eye with head of football Chris Grant.
A recent review into the club’s football department has eased some of the workload on Grant, but there are still rumours of a frayed relationship with Beveridge. A number of key players are also out of contract at the end of the 2024 season, leading Cornes to question why Beveridge hasn't fronted up and spoken publicly about the situation to ease concerns from fans.
“I want to ask if there’s more than goes into coaching than just coaching the team, because there’s one coach in particular that I think has gone missing publicly this off-season,” Cornes said on SEN radio. “What is the responsibility for a coach like Luke Beveridge to front up more and be more accessible to the media and therefore the club’s fans?
“There’s been a lot of change at the Western Bulldogs, they’ve just completed the review, we haven’t really heard from anyone, in particular Beveridge, since Chris Grant has essentially been demoted. There’s been stories about tension between them, they’re in the lowest two to three clubs in terms of supporter bases in Melbourne and I think we need to hear from him more. He’s essentially been invisible this summer, Bevo. I’m calling it - where’s Bevo?"
Kane Cornes compares Luke Beveridge to other AFL coaches
Cornes pointed out that even Hawthorn coach Mitchell, who suffered a serious bout of pneumonia while on holidays with his family over Christmas in America, has been more accessible than Beveridge. “Compare it to other coaches this off-season," Cornes added. "Chris Fagan will be live in studio with Garry Lyon and Tim Watson tomorrow. Michael Voss has done an extended interview with AFL Media. Justin Longmuir, do you think he wants to front up, he’s done a lot of media in Perth, Damien Hardwick’s done the same, Adam Kingsley’s been everywhere.
“I don’t reckon Sam Mitchell would have really wanted to document his serious illness in New York, but he did that with The Age. Ken Hinkley probably didn’t want to turn up after going out in straight sets last year, but he was on SEN last week. Simon Goodwin the same, he came into SEN and did a big sit-down interview, Ross Lyon, John Longmire was with us last week on SEN.
“Adam Simpson has won five games in two years and fronts up almost weekly in Perth and Luke Beveridge is missing. What’s the responsibility on the coach to actually accept the media requests and talk publicly about the issues going on at the footy club?”
Luke Beveridge and Chris Grant relationship 'strained'
Braden Ingram of Nine News reported last week that the relationship between Beveridge and Grant had become strained after a difficult season in 2023, which saw the Bulldogs miss the finals. Beveridge was reportedly overruled when long-time assistant Rohan Smith was let go.
“I can tell you the relationship between head of football Chris Grant and Luke Beveridge has been strained,” Ingram said. “It’s well known Beveridge wanted to keep departed assistant Rohan Smith last year, but Grant and CEO Ameet Bains had a different view, this contributed to the frayed relationship.
“After employing Matthew Egan from Geelong as coaching performance manager, the Dogs promoted him just months later to general manager of footy ops following a review into the football department. Meaning basically Beveridge doesn’t report directly to Grant but instead Egan.”
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