JJ facing battle for Bulldogs spot

09 March 2021 14:42:53 GMTPlus10

Western Bulldogs head coach Luke Beveridge says Jason Johannisen has work to do to get back into the side after being left out against Melbourne on Monday night.

The Dogs beat the Demons in the AAMI Community Series clash at Marvel Stadium, but there was no sign of Johannisen, who instead played in the VFL side earlier in the day.

It is a small fall from grace for a player who won the Norm Smith medal during the Dogs grand final success in 2016, and Beveridge says with competition for places hotter than ever he needs to raise his game.

"'JJ' hasn't been out of the team since I've coached the club and we had a conversation about that," Beveridge said following the win over the Demons.

"He's got some great strengths, Jason, and when he doesn't play so well we really hone in on what he can contribute because of his speed and his skills and he can play other areas than just half-back.

"Sometimes we've tried to keep it fresh for him and our team because we needed him. Now we need to go to the next level,
and we need a couple of things in his game to come to the fore and he'll earn his spot back at some point. There's some pressure on for some spots."

Meanwhile star recruit Adam Treloar also played in the VFL match as he looks to get fully fit following injury niggles, and there is a chance he could make round one.

"I'd say health-wise, based on today, he probably will be right," Beveridge said of Treloar.

"Then we've just got to make the call on whether we pick him (based) on a limited game time. He'll definitely be a consideration if we can get him through training and he's feeling strong."

The Bulldogs are priced at 9/2 to win the AFL grand final.

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