Coach – Luke Beveridge
Points For – 15th
Points Against – 8th
Top 5 Best and Fairest
- Marcus Bontempelli
- Jason Johannisen
- Jack Macrae
- Easton Wood
- Caleb Daniel
2017 Rising Star Noms
Ins – Jackson Trangove, Hayden Crozier, Josh Schache, Aaron Naughton, Ed Richards, Callum Porter, Billy Gowers,
Outs – Matthew Boyd, Bob Murphy, Josh Prudden, Declan Hamilton, Tristan Tweedie, Travis Cloke, Stewart Crameri, Jake Stringer
The Bulldogs last year set the way for just how deep a premiership hangover can go. They never really looked a threat last year. They still have some quality on their list but will be interesting to see who the real bulldogs are.
The backline was probably around the mark last year. The big impact last year I guess was Johannisen who despite finishing well in the best and fairest, was found out last year. The minute they make him accountable, he goes missing. It will be interesting to watch how he fights that this year. From a KP perspective they look light on. They are susceptible to being opened up by a team with good tall forwards.
The midfield is strong in theory but last year a lot of their bigger names didnt play up to potential. Libba was miles down on his best, Wallis had injuries and struggles. Even the Bont seemed down on his best, he played some great games and really good patches. It will be interesting to see how they lift. They will be looking for more spark from their midfield group this year.
The forward line was diabolical last year. They just couldnt kick winning scores often enough. They have brought in Trengove as a marking target. Cloke was an unmitigated disaster and losing Boyd for such large patches of the season really hurt. Bringing in Schache is a move towards the future but the question marks over him are huge. I think Dunkley’s injury had a real impact as well. They will improve this year as long as they can keep the team on the field. They will miss Stringer, he was a real x-factor in their forward line and they lack excitement.
They missed Roughead last year in the ruck. Campbell and Boyd had to carry a lot of the ruck. They need a big season from Roughead this year if they are to hit the eight.
From a coaching perspective, he did a great job of bringing a team together in their premiership year, especially in that final 4-6 weeks. Last year he didnt seem to have answers. They honeymoon ended and he couldnt turn that around. He has enough coaching goodwill for a couple of seasons but it won’t last forever.
This year is an interesting one. Even in their premiership year the Dogs didnt look a threat until halfway through the final series. Last year they never looked like it. I think they would need a lot to go right for them to challenge again. They have lost some serious talent and excitement but a decent run with injury and keeping their best 22 on the park and they will challenge for the eight. I think in all likelihood somewhere from 8-10 is going to be about the mark.