Ayce Cordy
Ayce Cordy Robert Cianflone - Getty Images

Bulldogs suffering from bad breeding

THEY may be the Bulldogs, but there is a distinct Cats feel about the off-field team at Whitten Oval.

And unfortunately for long-suffering Doggies fans, the Catters' brigade has not brought with them the success they enjoyed down the road at Geelong.

Senior coach Brendan McCartney was born and bred in the Geelong area, and after coaching Ocean Grove to four straight Bellarine League premierships in the mid-1990s, was Mark Thompson's right-hand man from 2000-2010 at Geelong.

After taking the Bulldogs' reins at the end of 2011, he hired Cats premiership players Steven King as an assistant, and Joel Corey (midfield), Cam Mooney (forwards) and Matthew Scarlett (backs) as part-time development coaches.

The Dogs also have ex-Cats skipper and NFL punter Ben Graham, who assists with players' kicking, while former player Brent Prismall is the runner.

In his third season at the helm, the honeymoon period is certainly over for McCartney. Though highly-regarded as a teacher, the Bulldogs are on track to get an 'F' when it comes to their development.

Some of the tall timber, in particular, resemble high school kids that have been held back and still can't seem to graduate. Maybe they just can't be taught.

A few hours before the Dogs fell to the visiting Brisbane at Docklands last Saturday, which saw them slump to a 3-8 win-loss record, five great hopes - forwards Ayce Cordy, Liam Jones and Jake Stringer, ruckman Tom Campbell and defender Michael Talia - were running around in the VFL.

Cordy (pick 14 in the 2008 national draft) hasn't been able to add to his 19 games since round 15 last year when he gathered just five handballs against GWS; Jones (pick 31 in 2009) booted one goal in four games before he copped a ban for his careless high hit on Melbourne's Dean Terlich a month ago; while Stringer (pick 5 in 2012) booted four goals in nine games, but is now being trialled in defence with the reserves.

Talia was a Rising Star nominee last season, and meant to be holding down one of the key defensive posts with Jordan Roughead, while Campbell was supposed to be easing the load on Will Minson in the ruck.

And while the athletic, albeit at times lazy Jarrad Grant (pick 5 in 2007) played his first senior game of the year last week, the jury is still out on the forward who would have been let go already if not for a three-game burst late last year when he kicked 10 goals. He had just seven touches and kicked one goal against the Lions.

The Dogs have a history of their 'pure breeds' not making the grade, which is why they've had to rely on the 'bitsers' - Scott Welsh, Barry Hall and now Stewart Crameri - to add bite to the attack.

The Bulldogs would dearly love an entire pack, however.

The Whipping Boys

THEY are the shoddy magicians of the footy world.

Some perform disappearing acts when they shouldn't.

Others try to pull a rabbit out of a hat when they should be pulling their finger out. They are the footballers that continually frustrate their own fans.

And right now, West Coast, Richmond, Carlton and the Bulldogs have more than their fair share of players delivering 'performances' more likely to draws jeers than cheers.

ADELAIDE: Shaun McKernan, Jared Patrenko

BRISBANE: Jordan Lisle, James Polkinghorne

CARLTON: Jarrad Waite, Jeff Garlett

COLLINGWOOD: Steele Sidebottom

ESSENDON: Leroy Jetta, Brent Stanton

FREMANTLE: Danyle Pearce, Zac Dawson

GEELONG: Travis Varcoe, Taylor Hunt

GWS GIANTS: Curtly Hampton, Toby Greene

GOLD COAST: Aaron Hall

HAWTHORN: Kyle Cheney, Ryan Schoenmakers

MELBOURNE: Jack Watts, Cam Pederson

NORTH MELBOURNE: Majak Daw, Robbie Tarrant

PORT ADELAIDE: John Butcher, Jasper Pittard

RICHMOND: Tyrone Vickery, Shaun Grigg, Shaun Hampson

ST KILDA: Rhys Stanley, Beau Maister

SYDNEY: Sam Reid

WEST COAST: Matt Priddis, Josh Hill, Ashley Smith

BULLDOGS: Liam Jones, Ayce Cordy (PICTURED), Jarrad Grant, Shaun Higgins

Third time lucky for adventurer?

Third time lucky for adventurer?

Kayaker holds talk before setting off on solo journey to New Zealand

Fresh idea was organic

Fresh idea was organic

New one-stop co-operative will bring farmers and buyers together

It's a grind of the right kind for coffee whiz

It's a grind of the right kind for coffee whiz

New invention could soon hit cafes nationally.

Local Partners