Coach – Luke Beveridge
Points For – 3rd
Points Against – 13th
Top 5 Best and Fairest
2019 Rising Star Noms
Bailey Smith (Round 9)
Ins – Cody Weightman, Louis Butler, Riley Garcia, Josh Bruce, Alex Keath
Outs – Tom Boyd, Dale Morris, Liam Picken, Fletcher Roberts, Lukas Webb
The Western Bulldogs finished off last year with a bang. They put up some big scores and beat some good teams before falling over once the finals started. They showed though that their best football is entertaining and capable of mixing it with the best teams.
The backline needed strengthening last year and they went and got Keath. I am not sold on Keath yet although he played some good football at Adelaide, they seem to make KP players look good with their system. Cordy has been good down back and they have Wood as the third tall. They have Johanissen for run as well as Crozier and then they have Suckling for commentator to talk about his foot skills before he turns it over.
The midfield is where the resurgence came from last year. Dunkley played some great football and put up huge numbers playing in the shadow of the Bont who was almost unstoppable. Macrae and Hunter have been getting the job done consistently and they have Richards who gives good run and spread. They could still lack a little pace but it is a very good hard working midfield.
The forward line found a lot to like last year, Naughton looks an absolute gun and loves a contested mark. He is the player you build a forward line around. They have added Bruce as a second marking option with smalls like Lloyd, Smith, Dale and Mclean. They are a very good mobile forward line that hold the ball in and find a way to score. I think Bruce is a good upgrade on Schache.
Tim English is probably going to be a good ruckman. They don’t have a lot of depth in this position and rely on a good midfield as much as the quality of the tap work. The coach has won a premiership and then taken a long time to get the team back up and going. There is no pressure on him. I think expectations will be based on the last couple of months of the season with finals expected.
I like watching the dogs play, they are exciting and put some serious scores up in their last few rounds. I think they have quality across most lines and are capable of beating most teams on their day. They have traded well and improved both their forward line and their backline and already have a great midfield. The should be in the eight again this year and are capable of pushing towards the top four. I think 5-6 is about the mark.