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Why the Dogs took Caleb Daniel

Article image for Why the Dogs took Caleb Daniel

Coach Luke Beveridge has revealed why the Western Bulldogs took a punt on drafting the diminutive Caleb Daniel. 

Daniel finished second in Tuesday’s NAB Rising Star vote on 41 votes behind Sydney’s Callum Mills (49). 

The 168cm helmet-wearing South Australian had an outstanding U18s carnival for South Australia in 2014 that earned him All-Australia selection and played 11 senior games for South Adelaide in the SANFL. 

Despite that impressive resume and a clear ability to gather possessions and dispose of it well by hand and foot, he was only taken at pick 46 of the 2014 National Draft. 

With many recruiters convinced Daniel was too small to play AFL, Beveridge explained how he and recruiting manager Simon Dalrymple decided to get Daniel to Whitten Oval. 

‘Simon and his scouts were really keen on Caleb,’ Beveridge said. 

‘I just asked the question, ‘if he wasn’t so diminutive or if he was taller, where do you think he’d go?’ and they said, ‘Top ten in the draft.’

‘That was their honest assessment. It’s our recruiters and list managers prerogative to really be assertive and proactive … you’ve got to back your national recruiter in.

‘He’s been a prize selection for us in a later pick.’

Daniel had managed 10 games in his first season, which left him eligible for the 2016 NAB Rising Star award. 

A round four nomination from 23 possessions, three tackles and four inside 50s was one of 20 games in a successful Bulldogs team in which he average more than 20 disposals at an efficiency of above 80. 

‘In a very challenge and difficult year what Caleb has been able to do and set the example and be a young leader for such a young player in trying times

‘He’s achieved a lot this year, so we’re wrapped for him that he’s up there.’

Full interview: