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Boyd 'determined more than ever': Beveridge

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Premiership hero Tom Boyd - AFL,Western Bulldogs,Tom Boyd,Luke Beveridge
Premiership hero Tom Boyd
He's determined more than ever to get back to his best and there were some really good signs on the weekend.
Luke Beveridge

TOM Boyd's five-goal display in the VFL on the weekend is an encouraging sign the premiership hero could be returning to his best, says Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge. 

Boyd hasn't played at senior level since round 13 last year due to mental health and form issues and had struggled with Footscray at state league level in recent weeks.

However, the 22-year-old key forward's confidence appears to be building after an all-round performance against Coburg on Saturday netted five goals, 23 possessions, six marks, six tackles and 11 hit-outs.

Beveridge told Channel Seven on Monday night Boyd is desperate to recapture the form that made him one of club's most valuable players in the 2016 premiership triumph. 

"He's determined more than ever to get back to his best and there were some really good signs on the weekend," Beveridge said.

"Tom kicked three goals in a 10-minute patch, and two of them were as a midfielder.

"We've got a bit of tall timber in our Footscray side at the moment, so by keeping them all involved we threw Tommy and Josh Schache on the ball and they both did well.

"They're encouraging signs, and I had a chat to him last week about one or two things."

Schache is another young, high-profile forward plying his trade at Whitten Oval, with the former Lion also struggling with form and the rigours of the game.

The 20-year-old had little influence in two JLT Community Series appearances and has battled injury in recent weeks, but Beveridge has called for patience and says the wait will be worth it. 

"(Josh) is going to take some time, he is a young foal and physically developing," Beveridge said.

"For him to be a really effective key forward at AFL level on a consistent basis, it will take another two or three years, I'd say.

"That's not to say he won't play in our team (sooner), but we love the way he's gone about his pre-season.

"We see him as a very promising player who will play well for us in the future." 

With Jack Redpath joining Boyd and Schache as three key forwards on the Dogs' list, Beveridge said defensive structures in modern football made it very hard for teams to have a tall attacker play predominantly close to goal.

The premiership mentor demands flexibility from his chargers, with Boyd and Redpath both spending plenty of time in the ruck over the past few seasons.

"I think there is (room) depending the team you've got playing with you and the extent of (the player's) skill set," Beveridge said.

"The game has changed, but I think most teams have explored a one-out forward deep for the whole game, and that affects (the team's) defensive structure a little bit.

"I think there is, but it would take an exceptional player to pull it off."