Hopes for Ling to bring victory
TOP-GRADE coach Wayne Ling will draw on two decades of experience to try and break the Bulldogs’ 14-year premiership drought.
With coaching tenures in Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, and premiership success with teams in Broadbeach, Burleigh and Rockhampton, Ling has brought a wealth of experience to the Bulldogs squadron.
He attracted drought-breaking acclaim in Rockhampton, where he transformed the ailing Panthers from a wooden spoon team with only three wins in nine years to premiership winners in 2007.
Ling is aiming to ensure the Bulldogs do not have a repeat of last year’s grand final performance when they succumbed to a rapid-fire six-goal onslaught in the first quarter.
“Our attack is quite good but the defence needs work. I think they cracked under pressure a bit last year,” Ling said.
“They only lost one game all season and then dropped their guard.”
Ling has taken a hard-nosed approach to training and said football games were won and lost by the players’ fitness, accountability and vision.
“You need to have a solid base level of fitness to play the brand of football we want to play,” he said.
Also in the coach’s sights has been his team’s man-on-man game, with focus put on shepherding and “manning up”.
“If someone’s doing a lot of damage, we need guys that can step up and keep them in line,” he said.
Ling said the team had shown dedication and commitment and was continuing to improve as the season approaches.
“If we get the guys to where we want them to be they’re going to be a good side,” he said.
“I want them to be competitive every game they play.”