What will we get from the dogs? We really never seem to know with this team, who one week can be up and about, but more often than not are poor and scrappy. After the might of the 2016 season, the Dogs capitulated and haven’t been the same since. Will we see them bounce back in 2019? Or will it be another disappointing one for the Bulldogs?
Matthew Suckling, Toby McLean, Bailey Dale, Lewis Young, Tom Boyd, Will Hayes, Mitch Wallis, Fletcher Roberts, Aaron Naughton, Marcus Bontempelli, Lukas Webb, Bailey Williams, Josh Dunkley, Ed Richards, Caleb Daniel, Bailey Smith, Tom Liberatore, Brad Lynch, Lachie Hunter, Sam Lloyd, Jackson Trengove, Laitham Vandermeer , Dale Morris, Hayden Crozier, Jason Johannisen, Easton Wood, Ben Cavarra, Jackson Macrae, Billy Gowers, Jordon Sweet, Zaine Cordy, Pat Lipinski, Liam Picken, Josh Schache , Callum Porter, Tim English, Rhylee West, Tory Dickson, Lin Jong, Taylor Duryea, Fergus Greene
Roarke Smith, Buku Khamis, Lachie Young
Ins and Outs
Ins: Taylor Duryea, Sam Lloyd, Bailey Smith, Rhylee West, Laitham Vandermeer, Ben Cavarra, Will Hayes, Lachie Young, Jordon Sweet
Outs: Jordan Roughead, Marcus Adams, Luke Dahlhaus, Tom Campbell, Kieran Collins, Mitch Honeychurch, Nathan Mullenger-McHugh, Clay Smith, Jack Redpath, Shane Biggs
Five Big Points for the 2019 Season
Unknowns to stand up
The Bulldogs are one team that seems to lack some punch. Marcus Bontempelli really is the Dog’s X-factor player and out and out star, with not a lot of help around him. At least one of the Bulldog’s midfield brigade need to step up and join Bontempelli at his level if they want to beat teams through the centre of the ground. Guys like Lachie Hunter, Jackson Macrae and Josh Dunkley look likely candidates to give that role a red-hot crack.
Wood to lead by example
Easton Wood is one of the least appreciated captains in the AFL, very undeservingly so too. Wood not only has a Premiership under his belt, but is also a strong willed and competent leader, with excellent skills and a high level of football intelligence, making him and all-around terrific leader, especially after having to follow Robert ‘Bob’ Murphy, a favourite Son of the West.
Lost middle tier will bite
If you weren’t up to speed with the Dogs over the offseason you could be forgiven, but one thing that is important to note is the amount of really handy players they’ve lost either to other clubs or retirement. This includes, but isn’t limited to, Clay Smith, Jordan Roughead, Luke Dahlhaus, Marcus Adams and Jack Redpath. With losses of guys like these who are consistent contributors, the Dogs will have to find ways to plug a number of holes that weren’t there in 2018.
It will take time to find their best 22
This side will be hard to get a game in. I had a real hard time picking the Best 22 for the season because there are so many players that are at around the same level of skill. The players on the Dog’s list this year won’t just be playing for wins, they’ll be playing for their own spots, as realistically Easton Wood and Marcus Bontempelli are the only men I see as being irreplaceable.
First half of the season will be telling
Before their bye in Round 12 the Bulldogs only leave Victoria twice, granted both times are to Perth, but the Dogs will still need to capitalise on their chances in their home state if they are to push up towards the top eight and some September action. Home games against Gold Coast, Carlton, North Melbourne and Brisbane are must wins for the Bulldogs, they cannot afford to miss out on wins in any of those games this year.
|Round 1||Sydney||Marvel Stadium|
|Round 3||Gold Coast||Marvel Stadium|
|Round 5||Carlton||Marvel Stadium|
|Round 6||Fremantle||Optus Oval|
|Round 7||Richmond||Marvel Stadium|
|Round 8||Brisbane Lions||Mars Stadium|
|Round 9||Geelong||GMHBA Stadium|
|Round 10||North Melbourne||Marvel Stadium|
|Round 11||West Coast||Optus Oval|
|Round 13||Carlton||Marvel Stadium|
|Round 14||Collingwood||Marvel Stadium|
|Round 15||Port Adelaide||Adelaide Oval|
|Round 16||Geelong||Marvel Stadium|
|Round 17||Melbourne||Marvel Stadium|
|Round 18||St Kilda||Marvel Stadium|
|Round 19||Fremantle||Marvel Stadium|
|Round 20||Brisbane Lions||The Gabba|
|Round 21||Essendon||Marvel Stadium|
|Round 22||GWS Giants||Sydney Showground Stadium|
|Round 23||Adelaide||Mars Stadium|
B: Hayden Crozier, Dale Morris, Zane Cordy
HB: Aaron Naughton, Easton Wood, Jason Johannisen
C: Lachie Hunter, Josh Dunkley, Tom Liberatore
HF: Tim English, Tom Boyd, Toby McLean
F: Billy Gowers, Josh Schache, Caleb Daniel
FOL: Jackson Trengove, Jackson Macrae, Marcus Bontempelli
INT: Mitch Wallis, Taylor Duryea, Matthew Suckling, Liam Picken
EMG: Sam Lloyd, Lin Jong, Ed Richards
Best Brownlow Chance: Marcus Bontempelli
All Australian Contenders: Marcus Bontempelli, Toby McLean, Lachie Hunter, Jackson Macrae
Best Coleman Chance: Billy Gowers
Breakout Star: Tim English
Best Rising Star Chance: Aaron Naughton
Although there’s a bit to like about the Dog’s list, it seems a bit same old same old again from the Bullies. There’s no real spark here and they’ll need to find something exciting to get back to that 2016 form and glorious run to the Premiership. I can’t seem them climbing too high this year though. I have the Bulldogs sitting between 13th and 15th.
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