Cloke has averaged 1.7 goals per game in his career at the Magpies and the Bulldogs, however since he was traded from Collingwood most sceptics and Collingwood fans are under the impression that he’s simply moved, not improved. But the 2-Time All-Australian and Collingwood best and fairest winner has taken a completely new role at the Western Bulldogs. Cloke has been impressive so far, before being injured with broken ribs against North Melbourne on Good Friday. Here’s why he’s improving:
1. He’s valued by the Bulldogs.
Rather than being put under pressure, week after week at Collingwood, he’s encouraged at Footscray. This may seem like a small step to help a player improve, but it is effective. Luke Beveridge has full confidence in all of his players, knowing that they can do their job. It’s hard to deny that this is rubbing off on Cloke.
2. He is not the ‘key forward’
The Bulldogs have Jake Stringer and Tom Boyd as their 2 key forwards, but having an extra tall in the forward lines has helped the Bulldogs this year, creating an option up forward, but also run up the ground, opening up the forward 50. Put simply, Cloke isn’t under as much pressure this year and for the first time in a long time, he won’t be dropped if he doesn’t score. He’s given a set job and is completing that.
3. He’s in a winning team
Winning isn’t only a habit, but a mentality. Cloke is part of a winning team with different game plans and structures. He’s got a fresh view on the way he’s playing. He’s supported by his teammates and coach with their confidence in the rest of the team. Having that positive winning mindset that last year, wasn’t specifically with Collingwood, Cloke has thrived. Cloke has a new role, in a new team, in a premiership winning side. He’s got a fresh mindset on his gameplay and confidence in him by Beveridge and his teammates, he’s got a really good start to what looks to be a very promising 2017 and a promising time at Footscray.
Has Cloke been given a new lease of life at the Doggies? Share your thoughts below.