THE Gunnedah Bulldogs have enjoyed an undefeated start to the AFL North West season, thanks in part to a new style of play.
As the Dogs prepare to take on the Tamworth Kangaroos on Saturday, the side will be looking to implement the vision of the side's new coach, Doug Meagher.
Meagher hails from Victoria and his football background is as rich and as varied as it gets, with stints as a player and coach in four states.
"I grew up near Horsham in Victoria, and I went to school in Hamilton, which meant I played my junior representative football for Collingwood. After that I was recruited by Essendon and spent a little bit of time with their reserves," Meagher told the Independent.
"From there, I played senior football back home, while with Essendon, and then went over to play for Burnie in Tasmania."
The shift across the Tasman would not be the last for Meagher, and would eventually lead him to a spot with the fledgling Sydney Swans.
"I had captain-coached Toorak in Tasmania and St Arnaud back in Victoria before I was listed with the Sydney Swans," Meaher said.
"My last game for them was a trial match against Carlton. While it was a great experience, it became too hard to find work and so I headed back to Tasmania."
The second move to Tasmania saw Meagher ply his coaching trade into the 1990s before moves to Cootamundra in NSW and Sandgate in Queensland.
"All told, I was involved with coaching or playing up until about 2000," Meagher said.
"From there, I pretty much stepped away from the game entirely and have only really come back on board as a coach here in Gunnedah.
"It's been great to get back involved in the game. I am learning every week and will continue to do that as the season rolls on."
As for Saturday's clash against the Roos, Meagher said he was hopeful his experienced players would "stand up".
"We do have a few injuries around the group at the moment," he said.
"Ben Maher leads a list of a handful of injured players and is looking like he will miss another two or three weeks with a shoulder injury.
"However, I think we will still have plenty of numbers to pick a side from.
"The Roos are a pretty tough team and have some great players, but I'm confident we can field a competitive side, despite the injuries."
- Gunnedah will take on the Kangaroos from 2pm at Tamworth No.1 Oval on Saturday.