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List Breakdown: Small-Med Defenders

January 6, 2016 6:01 AM

Club champion, Easton Excels Easton Wood and Assistant Coach Rohan Smith review season 2015 for the Bulldogs defender.
AFL 2015 Rd 22 - North Melbourne v Western Bulldogs

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 29: Easton Wood of the Bulldogs in action during the 2015 AFL round 22 match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, Australia on August 29, 2015. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)

Is Roughy a ruckman or a tall defender? Would you like to see Dahl in the forward line, or in the middle?  And what about the new guys?  Is there any room for Matt Suckling in the back six or would you like to see him on a wing?

Now YOU can put yourself in the shoes of Luke Beveridge and the match committee. 

Over the next six days, will do a deep dive on our list, breaking it down line by line before we will give you the opportunity for you to gaze into your crystal ball and tell us who you think will make up the selected side in round one.

Let the debate begin!




Small-Med Defenders


Robert Murphy, Matthew Boyd, Easton Wood and Dale Morris were the four players categorised as small/medium size defenders who were selected to play against the Crows in the elimination final at Etihad Stadium in September.  All four had outstanding years, but are they your first choice defenders to start round one in 2016?

Robert Murphy seemed to elevate his game in 2015 and the 33-year-old was rewarded with the All Australian captaincy for his efforts.   The Bulldogs had the 14th ranked defence in 2014 and jumped to 6th in 2015, in no small measure due to the efforts of Messrs Murphy, Boyd and Sutton Medallist, Easton Wood. 

Dale Morris was again his usual reliable self for the Dogs in 2015, although a pectoral injury kept him out of the side for an extended period in 2015.  His absence gave some younger Dogs an opportunity to stake their claim, but his hard edged defensive style is tough to replace.

2015 Most Improved Player, Jason Johannisen missed the elimination final due to calf soreness, but on the back of a breakout year in 2015, may be as close to an automatic selection as there is.  Johannisen’s run and carry out of defensive 50m was a feature of the new look Western Bulldogs in 2015, but who does he replace in the selected side?

And what about Matthew Suckling? The former Hawthorn premiership player arrived at the kennel as an unrestricted free agent in October, after 102 games at the Hawks.  He spent time forward in 2015 for a decent return but his penetrating left foot is a weapon that may be best deployed in defence, although Suckling himself told that he may have trouble breaking into the Bulldog’s back six, so he may look to spend some time on the wing or half forward, but we’ll let you be the judge of that.

Shane Biggs, Lukas Webb, Josh Prudden and Roarke Smith all spent time back this season and although he had a more offensive role this season,  we know that Liam Picken can pinch hit when required. 

And let’s not forget Jed Adcock. Like Suckling, the former Lion spent more time forward in 2015 but his above average disposal by hand and foot would be a valuable addition to any backline.

Cast your vote for the one player you want to fill each position and the players with the most votes will start in that role.  The top four players not selected will fill out the interchange.