Luke Beveridge spills beans on embarrassing AFL half-time injury

The AFL team's coach admits he was "clumsy" after opening up about the strange mishap.

Pictured here, Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge.
Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge required surgery after breaking his hand hitting his own whiteboard. Pic: Getty

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge insists he is "totally in control" after opening up on a bizarre self-inflicted mishap that left him with a broken hand. Beveridge suffered the injury during fiery scenes at halftime in last Thursday night's shattering two-point defeat to the Sydney Swans in the AFL.

The Bulldogs coach confessed to reporters on Thursday that he damaged his hand on his own whiteboard after an animated halftime talk for his troops went embarrassingly awry. The 2016 premiership coach said he smacked his hand into the whiteboard to try and better illustrate a point to his players during the main break of the match at the SCG.

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Beveridge required surgery on the injury to his left hand this week but has not missed any work as a result of the mishap. The coach admitted it was "clumsy" on his part but said he thought the team needed a rev-up after a number of injury concerns and a Buddy Franklin goal after the siren, left them three points down.

"Sometimes you need the coach to be a little bit animated, and it was just purely an accident, more than anything," Beveridge said at Whitten Oval on Thursday. "If you're worried about me emotionally, no need. I'm totally in control.

"We came in at halftime with some uncertainty around how many boys were going to be available in that second half. I was just a bit unlucky, the angle, and even the way it happened, because it's unusual.

"We just needed to raise the energy a little bit and it was quite innocuous and a little bit clumsy, but injured it and carried on. It didn't affect me.

"It's all fixed and business as usual. It's a bit trivial, but one day it might be a couple of paragraphs in a chapter of a book."

Seen here, Luke Beveridge addresses his Western Bulldogs players during their AFL game against Sydney.
Luke Beveridge is seen here addressing his Western Bulldogs players during their AFL game against Sydney at the SCG. Pic: Getty

Beveridge was clearly a little reticent to go into more detail on the embarrassing incident and kept his hands in his pockets throughout the weekly press conference. When asked a fourth question about the injury, the Bulldogs coach promptly requested a change of subject.

Bulldogs face crunch clash against top-eight rivals Essendon

Last round's loss to the Swans leaves the Bulldogs seventh on the ladder and tied with three other teams (St Kilda, Essendon and GWS) on 36 points, making Friday night's clash against the Bombers a must-win for Beveridge's men. Midfielder Bailey Smith will return for the vital showdown at Marvel Stadium, having missed the trip to Sydney due to illness. Smith has been at the centre of trade speculation which Beveridge last week described as "disrespectful" and "pungent".

"Bailey's finding his way back to his best form. In the role that he's playing for our team, he has got the capacity to be our best player, week in, week out, and we're going to help him get there," Beveridge said.

"And that's probably why I get a little bit agitated and protective of Bailey because he's been through a fair bit. Even this morning (Thursday), he doesn't have to, but he came up and thanked me for the support that I give him publicly, because I love him, and I want him to be OK."

The clash with the Bombers looms as season-defining. Defeat could drop the Bulldogs from seventh to as low as 12th. Essendon are equal on points but sit eighth on percentage and are coming off a 77-point smashing from reigning premiers Geelong last Saturday night.

with AAP

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