A fired up Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has responded to a report suggesting recruiters aren’t happy with the club’s access to Academy prospect Jamarra Ugle-Hagan.
On top of priority access to the 17-year-old forward, the Dogs will also receive a 20 per cent discount under current AFL rules.
Ugle-Hagan, a member of the Bulldogs’ Next Generation Academy, has been touted as one of the brightest young talents in this year’s draft.
Speaking after Friday night’s 44-point win over North Melbourne in their Marsh Community Series opener, Beveridge took aim at the report.
“It’s extremely disappointing,” Beveridge told reporters.
“Whoever the recruiters were or scouts who have expressed their short-sighted understanding of how our game needs to grow and how we need to continue to pump money, time, resources into our code right across the country.
“Our club has put a lot of time into Jamarra and nurtured him and looked after him and that’s what the NGA academy is all about, and the father-son side of things.
“Every club’s doing it. I was surprised there was uproar just because maybe we’ve got an opportunity if Jamarra is that player who’s going to be an early pick."
Beveridge continued: “What we should be doing is going even further in allowing clubs to put more time into potential academy players."
"I’m not saying we go back to full zoning, but what it does is it injects incentive to the communities, whether it’s regional, whether it’s metropolitan. That’s what’s happened with Jamarra.
“He’s at a private school, he’s learnt a lot with us in his time and he’s coming on, but he’s no different to an Isaac Heeney or any number of those players."
Ugle-Hagan played in Oakleigh Chargers’ NAB League premiership last year, booting 24 goals from nine matches as a bottom-age player.