'Steep learning curve' for irked pup Sanders: Beveridge

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge says Ryley Sanders is on a "steep learning curve" after the first-year midfielder was substituted out of an AFL match for the second time in a month.

Sanders, taken with pick six at last year's draft, is regarded as one of the Bulldogs' brightest young prospects.

But the 19-year-old had tallied just eight disposals midway through the third quarter of the 15.6 (96) to 9.13 (67) loss to Essendon on Friday night when he was replaced by Bailey Dale.

Sanders vented his frustration at Beveridge's decision on the sideline, hurling a water bottle before taking his seat on the bench.

In commentary on ABC Radio, coaching legend Mick Malthouse said if he was coaching Sanders his response to such petulance would be to "kick his backside so hard his toes would curl up".

Beveridge indicated he planned to take a more measured approach to managing the situation.

"We'll process it with him post-game but it's always difficult," Beveridge said.

"Not many of us really enjoy the sub factor, especially the subbing out aspect, but it's a steep learning curve for Sando.

"He's going to be such an important player for the football club and he's learning all the time.

"Part of that is understanding that from time to time he may be that guy who comes off the ground, so we'll work through it with him."

Beveridge has been in the spotlight for some curious selection decisions this season, particularly around three-time All-Australian midfielder Jack McRae.

The 2016 premiership coach raised eyebrows again this week when he dropped Caleb Daniel and picked Dale in the sub role.

Beveridge said Dale's selection as the sub was due to form, opting to bring in James O'Donnell to bolster his key defensive stocks.

Daniel played in the VFL curtain raiser on Friday night, gathering 26 disposals in a solid outing for Footscray.

The versatile midfielder-defender, who made the 2020 All-Australian team, may have to bide his time for a return to the Bulldogs' senior side.

"(The decision to drop Daniel) was just similar to Bailey Dale as far as influence goes," Beveridge said.

"There's a finite amount of minutes that midfielders can play and CD, we've moved away from picking him as a half-back at the moment.

"So it comes down to who we're going to play in the other roles and we had others before him this week. We'll keep working through that."

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