Former Western Bulldog Josh Schache believes his old club didn’t give him a proper chance, while handing No.1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan senior games he did not deserve.
Schache, 25, was traded to Melbourne in October, having become disgruntled with how he was used by the Bulldogs. The tall forward played just 18 games in the past three seasons for the Dogs, and was traded for a future fourth-round pick.
David Trotter and Josh Schache at the documentary launch on Thursday.Credit:Jason South
He opened up about his frustration with the Bulldogs in a meeting with his manager David Trotter, of Hemisphere Management, in Stan Sport’s original documentary Show Me the Money II, airing on Thursday.
“I, just at the moment, looking at where I am, with the Dogs, I just can’t see myself getting past those guys they are prioritising at the moment. They don’t give me a proper chance, either. They bring me in for a couple of weeks, then I have an off game – bang, straight out. They don’t stick with me,” a frustrated Schache said.
“I don’t have the confidence with them.”
In the meeting, Trotter discussed the benefits of a trade to the Demons, suggesting they had an ageing forward line, where the Bulldogs not only recruited veteran tall Rory Lobb from Fremantle, but have young star talent in Aaron Naughton, Sam Darcy and Ugle-Hagan.
Schache said Luke Beveridge felt compelled to take him aside to justify why Ugle-Hagan was played ahead of him.
“Jamarra had five touches, then the week before as well, he didn’t have any touches [in the VFL], then they brought him in, and I have kicked a fair few goals in those two weeks and played well. And he [Beveridge] even had to bring me in and justify why they brought him in. That is just something that is going to keep happening,” Schache said.
The Bulldogs were contacted for comment.
Schache was given three stints at senior level last season, but could not cement a spot. Ugle-Hagan played 18 games, but none between rounds seven and 13.
Speaking with The Age at the documentary’s launch on Thursday, Schache said he had needed a fresh start after 45 games in five seasons with the Bulldogs.
“The list there [Bulldogs] was very prominent and upcoming, especially in the positions that I play in as well. It’s tough to have a permanent role and spot in the side … going into different positions every week was a little bit difficult. I have loved my time at Melbourne, so far,” he said.
“Obviously, it was pretty frustrating when you think you can go out there and have an impact. Obviously, Jamarra is going to be a great player in the future, what he has been able to do has been awesome. Seeing the work he has been putting in as well this off-season, has been awesome. I can’t wait to see what they can do this year.”
The deal to move Schache to the Dees came just minutes after Sam Weideman left the Demons for the Bombers. The Demons will be Schache’s third AFL club; the former No.2 draft pick started his career at Brisbane.
“I have just really enjoyed my time there at the moment. Obviously, Goody [coach Simon Goodwin] has been really good, along with all the other coaches. All the players have welcomed me in to have a position up forward, to train up forward through the pre-season and pinch hit in the ruck if I need to,” Schache said.
Trotter said on Thursday that Schache wanted more opportunity to play senior football.
“He loved the Dogs and didn’t really want to leave but, he also wants to play AFL footy. Melbourne were really honest – ‘it’s not a walk-up start here, we are not getting you in to be a lock for our 22, but I think there is a role there’,” Trotter said of the Demons’ spiel.
“Whether he has to wait for an opportunity, the way he finished off in the VFL last year, he is too good for that level. Hopefully, he gets a chance.”
Schache was part of the Bulldogs’ side for the 2021 grand final. His best season was in 2019, when he booted 24 goals in 14 games. He has been used in several positions. He finished 2022 in superb touch in the VFL, booting 17 goals in three games, including two seven-goal bags.
The Stan Original Documentary Show Me The Money II premieres Thursday 23 February at 5pm AEDT, only on Stan.
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