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Blackburn to lead Dogs

February 17, 2017 3:22 PM

AFLW 2017 Rd 02 - Western Bulldogs v Adelaide

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 10: Ellie Blackburn of the Bulldogs in action during the 2017 AFLW Round 02 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Adelaide Crows at VU Whitten Oval on February 10, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)

There’ll be a new yet familiar face leading the Dogs out this weekend when they take on Melbourne in Round 3 of AFLW at VU Whitten Oval.

With Katie Brennan temporarily sidelined, Ellie Blackburn will take the reins for what Bulldogs coach Paul Groves describes as a ‘must-win’ game for his charges on Saturday night.

“Her leadership is immense, Groves said of Blackburn.

“She really leads with her actions and we’re really excited that she will lead us out on Saturday night…. she’s been fantastic around the group.”

Despite heavy attention from the opposition each week, Blackburn is second only to the league-leading Emma Kearney in average disposals per game among Bulldogs players, and Groves said he's been impressed with how she's stood up when her team needed her.

“She’s been good, she copped a pretty hard tag in Round 1 and was still able to impact the game, which is what we are asking, and then last week she stood up when things weren’t really going our way.”

The Dogs will also welcome back midfielders Jaimee Lambert and Kirsty Lamb this weekend while speedster Kimberley Ebb will make her debut.

“We rated [Kimberley] really highly in the draft, and we took her early, Groves said. 

“[She’s] really quick, outstanding speed [and] she’ll really slot into a role in the team.

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