Beveridge not feeling pressure at under-fire Bulldogs

Anna Harrington |

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has been touched by the support and love he has received.
Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has been touched by the support and love he has received.

Under-fire Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge insists he’s not feeling any more pressure than he has in the past, while Richmond counterpart Adem Yze is shocked at the heat coming for his close friend.

The heat was turned up on the 2016 premiership coach after Sunday’s loss to Hawthorn condemned them to a 3-5 start to the season, and their fourth defeat in five games.

“I’m probably blind or oblivious to (criticism) a little bit,” Beveridge said.

“What I do notice is how many supportive and great people come my way to express their care and their love sometimes.

“It’s during times like these you appreciate the goodness of people.

“I sort of get an inkling that I’m the centre of attention through how many messages and phone calls I get.

“But part of my coping technique is to just keep my head in the game and … focus on making sure everyone here knows that I’m in the right place.

“The pressure’s always there. I don’t feel it any less or any more.”

Club president Kylie Watson-Wheeler told ABC radio it was too early in the season for the Dogs to “panic” or “make rash decisions” regarding their coach, contracted until the end of 2025.

Football boss Matthew Egan expressed on SEN radio his dismay at “aggressive and personal” attacks on the senior coach, while midfielder Adam Treloar also defended Beveridge.

First-year Tigers mentor Yze was an assistant coach at the Hawks with Beveridge between 2012 and 2014.

“I don’t see how they’re under more pressure than us,” he said ahead of Richmond’s clash with the Bulldogs on Saturday.

“They’ve won more games than us.”

When asked if he was surprised by the attention on Beveridge, Yze said: “Yeah I am and he’s a good friend of mine, and you hate seeing that.

“Not many teams have won a flag in the last (few) years and they’re one of them.

“That sort of scrutiny on all coaches is always gonna be there. They’ve got some quality players.

“I feel for him and I’ll reach out to him, but this weekend it will be on for young and old.

“You obviously do feel for your peers when they’re under pressure.”

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge.
Fans, officials and players have shown their support for Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS)

When asked if criticism had crossed the line, Beveridge said: “I don’t tend to worry about it too much these days.

“It’s just really important that I don’t pay much attention to that.

“The opinions and the scrutiny of what I do within the football club is most important to me, and the messaging and the care and love for me and the journey we’re on has been really strong.

“I’m really grateful for that.”

Beveridge has spoken with Watson-Wheeler, Egan, chief executive Ameet Bains and some players, including injured young gun Cody Weightman, who called to check in on him.

“I love the fact that people want to do that, but I don’t necessarily need it,” he said.

“I say to my closest friends, ‘Don’t text me, don’t call me, I’m OK’, but they’re always concerned.

“But ultimately, I’m in a really good place and really looking forward to this next challenge.”

Beveridge conceded blocking out scrutiny would naturally be harder for his players but was confident they would get set for the Tigers game.

The Bulldogs changed up their routine by heading to St Kilda Sea Baths on Tuesday rather than conducting a standard review.