Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli says executing the team’s gameplan more effectively and consistently will be a key focus for 2024.
Joining SEN on Wednesday morning to promote the release of his second kids book, Little Bont’s Brave Play, Bontempelli said he feels the team has the right mix of personnel to improve.
“There’s no doubt we probably fell short in a couple of games this year that were close and could’ve gone either way - we didn’t play out those lasting sort of moments as well as we’d liked,” he said on review on the 2023 AFL season.
“We’re probably looking for a bit more consistency across the board – we had some really solid contributions from a really good portion of players, but we probably haven’t been able to find the most we can out of the whole squad.
“You’re always searching for consistency. The best teams who played right through the season get that consistent output from player one to 23, from game to game. We probably weren’t able to put that together long enough and often enough.
“We won a couple of good games here and there, but were just a bit up and down at times.
“We need to get really steady on our gameplan and execution of how we’re playing, and then be able to contribute from minute one to 120.
“I think we’ve got the mix there that’s for sure - it’s just about how we execute better.”
The Bulldogs welcomed James Harmes and Nick Coffield in the recent Trade Period, with a number of new appointments also made to the coaching and medical teams.
Bontempelli said the change to the coaching panel was only natural after a period of time.
“I think that just happens in your coaching career. (Bevo’s) been around for a long period of time – I’ve only ever had the two coaches, Brendan McCartney for my first year and then ever since then I’ve been coached by Bevo,” he said.
“I think it’s probably really hard to keep the same group together year on year.
“To look for a different mix and different improvements, and to look for different opportunities with other guys – I think that’s the way the Club has felt what’s needed to support (Bevo’s) journey.
“The coaching environment can change pretty quickly and rapidly at different points, but from all reports the new guys that we’ve brought in so far are really good people and characters and will add a lot to our football club.”
Little Bont’s Brave Play is a heartwarming story about courage, family and of course, a little bit of footy.
The book is available for purchase now via the Bulldogs Shop.