WESTERN Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has hit out at Paul Roos for the Sydney premiership mentor's previous criticism of No.1 pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan.
A day after Ugle-Hagan signed a two-year contract extension, keeping him at the Bulldogs until the end of 2024, Beveridge strongly defended the emerging key forward.
Ugle-Hagan has been carefully managed during his first season and only made his AFL debut in July, despite criticism from outside the club as to why the Bulldogs were not playing the talented teenager.
But there is a sense of vindication for the premiership fancies about letting him develop in the VFL before he finally entered the AFL in solid fashion with six goals in four games.
But Beveridge has not forgotten comments Roos, who is now a consultant at North Melbourne, made ahead of Ugle-Hagan's debut in round 17.
Roos questioned the Bulldogs' decision to pick Ugle-Hagan, saying he heard the 19-year-old had played "terrible" in a VFL game.
"It's a really, really, really surprising decision to make, to throw him in out of form," Roos told Back to the Bench last month.
Beveridge backed his club about Ugle-Hagan's development and were confident in their process the whole way.
"(Ugle-Hagan) had some interruptions and because he didn't have the match fitness then, we just couldn't pick him," Beveridge said.
"We never set out to hold our players back, we want to give them opportunities and it got to the point where we thought it was time.
"Even when we played him, there was some really disappointing comments made by a former senior coach, who's contracted at another club in a consultancy role as to what some of players and coaches had said to him about Marra's performance in a scratch match.
"I think we know what's best for our players and the people who work in our program do an outstanding job."
Beveridge was also disappointed in a report earlier in the year which stated rival clubs were optimistic about luring Ugle-Hagan away from Whitten Oval during this year's trade period.
"It was a little bit sad, all that stuff that happened a while ago," Beveridge said.
"It was a storm in a teacup, created by someone who shouldn't have gone there.
"It's stuff that happens that we'd rather not deal with that's just made up."