'Nothing to be gained': AFL coach speaks out after media meltdown
Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge says there is 'nothing to be gained' by him commenting further on last week's press conference controversy as the club prepares for round two.
Beveridge and Bulldogs issued an apology in the wake of his fiery spray towards a reporter during his post-match press conference after round one, in which Beveridge threw out allegations of 'gutter journalism' among other things.
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The situation took a serious turn when the reporter in question, Tom Morris, was sacked by Fox Sports after audio recordings of him speaking disrespectfully about a female colleague, as well as another making racist and sexist statements, were made public the following day.
Beveridge was asked about the saga, his first meeting with reporters since his sensational and highly-criticised outburst.
He said he was hoping to put the incident behind him, and was reluctant to elaborate further.
“I obviously put the statement out and then try to move on pretty quickly. I get that it lingers a little bit, and I understand that,” he said.
“I’m really good. I’m energised, really looking forward to Thursday night.”
Considering the secondary story surrounding Morris which developed, Beveridge was wary of saying anything out of line.
He said it would be best to simply move on.
“We’d rather leave it where it is, based on everything that’s happened to him. There’s nothing to be gained by pouring any petrol on what’s already happened," he said.
Beveridge was also quick to dispel any notion he was unfit to coach, after journalist Caroline Wilson suggested suggested the Bulldogs needed to put more support around their coach.
“Couldn’t feel more passionate about what I do and the players and I have got a real strong connection. That’s the real thing the matters,” he said.
Beveridge dismisses AFL 'soft-cap' speculation
Beveridge has been vocal in his opposition to AFL cuts to the soft cap, which have put pressure on shrinking football departments, but stressed those past comments were not linked to his personal situation.
The eighth-year coach's post-match outburst at Morris led to some media commentary questioning his mental state and fitness to continue leading the Bulldogs after 161 games in charge.
"I've just got to cop it on the chin but it's far from the truth," Beveridge said.
"I've never been fitter, I've never felt healthier.
"I know I've been reasonably vocal about what some of the soft cap cuts have done and now is not the time to talk about that again.
"But that's more about my concerns for the code and industry, not my domain.
"It's probably a bigger picture consideration but personally I'm fine ... I couldn't feel more passionate about what I do.
"The players and I have got a really strong connection and that's the real thing that matters."
Beveridge said captain Marcus Bontempelli trained well in recent days and "should come up" for the Carlton clash, adding that fellow All-Australian players Caleb Daniel and Bailey Dale are clear to play.
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