Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge hinted at star forward Aaron Notan, who may have received ill-treatment as a result of the victory over the Gold Coast, but remained silent on what was the problem.
When asked how he watched Notan’s game, where the youngster scored three goals in the first half and then ran out of goals in the second half, Beveridge was restrained at the star’s exit.
“I have to be very careful here because he was so dominant and then there were reasons why he wasn’t in the second half,” Beveridge said at his post-game press conference.
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“That’s all I’ll say.
“We will do some of the following.
“He kept fighting, kept bringing the ball to the ground.
“We’ll work it out in a week.”
Asked directly whether Notan’s quiet second half was the result of injury or trouble, Baveridge replied, “No.”
Asked if he was talking about blocking rival Suns Sam Collins, Beveridge repeated the line that he needs to be “very careful”.
But the head coach confirmed that he would watch a video of the match before talking about it again.
“After the game, you’re pretty sure you know what happened, but you need to come back to watch to make sure,” he said.
“I can’t comment, I’ll just go back and see.”
Former AFL coach Nathan Buckley was trying to figure out what Beveridge’s frustration lay.
“Bevo has long attended them at post-match press conferences,” he told Best on Ground.
“He fights for his players and for his club as hard as anyone.
“I believe that he is fighting not to speak openly and passionately in such conditions.
“Sometimes it can be very difficult not to say what you think.”
Not sure Baveridge was talking about body contact outside the ball to prevent Notan from flying to the mark, Buckley said he remembers a similar disappointment with Travis Klock of Collingwood.
“(Clock) seemed to give the simplest free kicks, but then the same thing happened to him, and he would have been completely cut off and would not have received free kicks,” Buckley recalled.
“Newton may be going through a lot at the moment.”
Whatever attention he received, Beveridge said Notan was disappointed not to finish Saturday with more than 3.2.
“He was just great in that first half. He was so dominant, ”he said.
“It was a pity he left a couple there … It would be good if he left with more than three.”