Ryley Sanders subbed off against Essendon, Western Bulldogs vs Essendon, Luke Beveridge

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Western Bulldogs prized draftee Ryley Sanders reacted poorly after being substituted out of Friday night’s 29-point loss to Essendon.

The 19-year-old midfielder, who was selected by the Dogs with Pick 6 in the 2023 AFL Draft, made his debut in round one as the tactical sub and collected 25 disposals.

He has featured in every game since but was taken off during the Bulldogs’ loss on Friday night.

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Sanders was seen overreacting after being benched, throwing his towel and other items around him, as Bailey Dale came on as his replacement.

The youngster collected eight disposals and laid five tackles.

“He threw a water bottle, he threw the towel. Absolutely threw the toys out of the cot,” ABC Radio’s Tim Hodges said during his call of the match.

“He was seething to be subbed out again.”

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge remained coy on the situation

“We’ll process it with him post-game,” Beveridge said post-match.

“It’s always difficult (subbing someone out). Not many of us really enjoy the subfactor, especially the subbing-out aspect.

Beveridge urged Bulldogs fans to be patient with the move to take the draftee out of the loss, saying Sanders will benefit from learning that the game isn’t always fair or easy.

“It’s a steep learning curve for Sando,” he said.

“He’s going to be such an important player for the football club and he’s learning all the time, and part of that is understanding that, from time to time, he may be that guy that comes off the ground.

“We’ll work through it with him.”

The Bulldogs coughed up a nine-point lead to go down to an energetic Bombers, who were keen to prove their doubters wrong after being slammed for their lack of “mental resilience” by Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd.

The Dogs face St Kilda next week, hoping to improve on their 2-3 start.

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