Ugle-Hagan is going nowhere
GARRY Lyon believes the Western Bulldogs will pay little heed to rumours swirling around first-year forward Jamarra Ugle-Hagan.
It was reported by SEN’s Sam Edmund on Thursday that clubs are enquiring after the 19-year-old, who is yet to debut after he was selected at number one in the 2020 national draft.
“This is only my opinion, but there is a snowflake’s chance in hell they would entertain any offer for Jamarra Ugle-Hagan,” Lyon told SEN Breakfast.
Deprived of his draft year, the key forward arrived at Whitten Oval with a low fitness base, and anti-density rules at reserve level have limited his capacity to build it.
He has watched on as Josh Bruce and Aaron Naughton have kicked 63 goals between them to sit third and equal-sixth in the Coleman Medal race, respectively.
Ugle-Hagan was named as an emergency for three consecutive games from Rounds 6-8, indicating he was inching closer to a senior appearance, but a concussion and the Melbourne lockdown have set him back.
Tim Watson says he can empathise with the top selection’s frustrations, given young key position players are thriving in other environments.
Crows forward Riley Thilthorpe has kicked 13 goals in seven games, the Swans’ Logan McDonald has impressed next to Lance Franklin, while Essendon’s Nik Cox was the Round 12 Rising Star nominee, flourishing as a tall on the wing.
“You’re watching your other mates making their debut at other AFL clubs, and you’re still not getting picked,” Watson explained.
“I can understand the kid is impatient and thinking, ‘what about me?’
“Maybe he can’t see it exactly as it is from the Bulldogs’ perspective right now. Hopefully he’s getting the right advice.”
Lyon emphasised his appreciation for the Dogs’ careful approach to their blue-chip selection.
“Great clubs, which the Western Bulldogs are, manage this, and they’ll manage it beautifully. Luke Beveridge is a great person,” Lyon said.
“If I were the Western Bulldogs, I would hope he’s not happy. I would hope he’s banging down the door saying, ‘why aren’t I playing, get me in there’.
“(And that) he sits and listens and understands why he’s not and continues to push hard.”
– BY NATHAN JOHN/ SEN