Marcus Bontempelli's revelation about Luke Beveridge amid Chris Grant dramas at Bulldogs

The Western Bulldogs captain believes the players are connected to coach Luke Beveridge more than ever.

L-R: Marcus Bontempelli, Luke Beveridge, Chris Grant
Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli believes changes at the club has resulted in coach Luke Beveridge being connected with his players more than ever. Image: Getty

Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli believes changes at the club have resulted in coach Luke Beveridge being connected to his players more than ever. Reports in the offseason that Beveridge and head of football Chris Grant have not been seeing eye-to-eye have been rife as the side endured a tumultuous period, with assistant coaches leaving the club.

A recent review into the club's football department eased some of the workload on both Grant and Beveridge as the Bulldogs underwent a restructure, with Beveridge now reporting to Matt Egan. The side also hired Daniel Pratt, Alex Johnson and Jarryn Geary as assistant coaches ahead of the new AFL season.

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In 2023, the Bulldogs missed the finals and many fans felt the team underperformed but ahead of the new season Bontempelli believes the club is in a good place, with the restructure freeing up Beveridge to solely focus on coaching the team. "I've probably noticed, to some extent, more availability for sure (from Beveridge to the players)," Bontempelli said.

GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 26: Marcus Bontempelli of the Bulldogs kicks the ball during the round 24 AFL match between Geelong Cats and Western Bulldogs at GMHBA Stadium, on August 26, 2023, in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images)
Marcus Bontempelli says the uncertainty at the club is a thing of the past and believes Luke Beveridge is more invested in the players than ever going into the new season. Image: Getty (Morgan Hancock via Getty Images)

"He's (Beveridge) at different points had a lot on his plate and tried to manage a lot of our programs. But I feel like with the new people that have come in, he's definitely been afforded an opportunity to focus on some other things, which I think's great, and I can feel the optimism and the energy and his positivity towards our football season. So whether that's been different - it's just been improved is probably my read on it.

"He always was heavily invested, but maybe he just gets a bit more time now to focus centrally on his number one role at the football club, which is to coach it really well and obviously connect with our players. It feels like he's in a great space and I think we're all going to benefit from that."

Marcus Bontempelli says move away from Whitten Oval took its toll on the team

Bontempelli believes the club's time away from Whitten Oval amid redevelopment last year took its toll on the team. However, the Dogs captain says things are different heading into this season as the club has had more consistency in pre-season.

"We missed out on the finals last year, that's always a bitter pill to swallow, probably for every player who doesn't get a chance to participate. And we're just searching for improvement," he said. "So I feel like the group's in a pretty good position physically, probably, and mentally.

"Few changes, a few new personalities have come in and really added some things in a short space of time. The general optimism at the minute's pretty high about hopefully getting a better start this year than we did last year."

with AAP

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