Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has changed the game for his AFL coaching counterparts.
That’s according to Bulldogs champion Luke Darcy, who praised his former teammate’s coaching style that brought immediate success to the club – including a drought-breaking premiership in his just his second season at the helm in 2016.
Since his appointment for the 2015 season, Beveridge has guided the Dogs to two Grand Finals and five finals campaigns, transforming the club’s fortunes after three difficult seasons under Brendan McCartney.
Prior to joining the Bulldogs, the 51-year-old coached the St Bedes/Mentone Tigers to three consecutive VAFA premierships, was a player development manager at Collingwood and an assistant coach under Alastair Clarkson at Hawthorn.
“I’ve had the great pleasure of knowing him (Beveridge) for a long period of time,” Darcy told SEN SA Breakfast.
“I think he changed the whole game for AFL coaches in the way he went about it.
“We were told that we weren’t allowed to celebrate until you win a premiership. For those who didn’t – Coons (Adam Cooney) and I – that’s a long career. Nathan Buckley said when he retired that he never had an enjoyable moment because he was waiting to win a flag, that’s a pretty sad 15 years of your career.
“Whereas ‘Bevo’ tipped a lot of those things upside down. You should celebrate every little moment; you’ve got to celebrate when you win and be unashamed about that and the language used and the care for his players.
“It’s been a bit of a cliché now almost, you’ve got to have empathy and you’ve got to be vulnerable, he (Beveridge) just did that naturally.
“I think it’s changed the way coaches go about it.”
Entering his eighth season at Whitten Oval, Beveridge and the Bulldogs are eyeing another premiership tilt after falling short in this year’s Grand Final.
The Dogs lost to Melbourne by 74 points in the 2021 decider.