As the Bulldogs arrived in Mooloolaba on Wednesday morning for a 10 day training camp, midfielder Mitch Wallis said that while league-wide expectations around the Bulldogs had risen, the playing group’s own expectations have risen as well.
“We went into last season not knowing where we stood amongst the competition and week by week our expectations grew,” Wallis told media at Sunshine Coast airport.
"We wanted to win every game and like you said we got to the finals and we were disappointed by how we exited.
“Obviously it won’t be as surprising to the opposition now, they know what we can do and what we can achieve, so it’s going to be hard from that point of view, but in terms of what we can achieve, we put no ceiling on where we can finish up, and how many games we can win."
The Bulldogs return to Mooloolaba this week for the second time after a successful maiden trip north last season under Luke Beveridge.
Both playing group and coaches will take part in a 10-day camp, which includes skills, weights, and cross-training sessions.
Wallis said that competition for spots amongst the group is fierce, particularly in the midfield, but that these battles are a positive for the young, developing side.
“If you don’t have competition for spots then I don’t think you can be moving forward,” Wallis said.
“We’ve got Joshy Dunkley who got drafted this year who’s pushing for a spot, and then you’ve got players like Lukas Webb, who played a couple of games last year who’s looking to consolidate his spot in the side.
“It’s great to have competition for spots, but we are getting to that pointy end where the heat is rising so it’ll be interesting to see where it ends up.”
Wallis said that one of the keys to a good season was to get off to a good start, and with 10 of their first 11 games in Melbourne, including seven on their home deck at Etihad Stadium, the Bulldogs are well placed.
“If we get things right on this camp and we have a good start to the season with the games at Etihad, who knows what we can achieve.
“I definitely think we can match it with anyone in the competition.”