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Bulldogs can overcome injuries: Kearney

Ryan Davidson (AFL Media)  February 20, 2018 5:37 PM

Kearney| 'Pride Game is huge for us' Western Bulldogs midfielder Emma Kearney spoke to the media on Tuesday in a joint press conference with Carlton's Darcy Vescio, also discussing the impact that the injury to Katie Brennan has had to the group, and the match-up with the Blues.
The injury curse that has ravaged the Western Bulldogs won't spell the end of 2018, says midfielder Emma Kearney. (Photo: AFL Media) - Western Bulldogs,AFLW,Emma Kearney

The injury curse that has ravaged the Western Bulldogs won't spell the end of 2018, says midfielder Emma Kearney. (Photo: AFL Media)

The injury curse that has ravaged the Western Bulldogs' forward line won't spell the end of the club's 2018 aspirations, says midfielder Emma Kearney.

The Bulldogs have lost three key goalkickers to serious injury in the opening three games of the AFLW season, with captain Katie Brennan (ankle) joining ACL victims Daria Bannister and Isabel Huntington on the sidelines.

While Bannister and Huntington will miss the remainder of the Dogs' 2018 campaign, the club is confident Brennan can return from the injury she picked up late in the loss to Adelaide on the weekend.

Speaking ahead of the inaugural AFLW Pride Game against Carlton on Friday night at Whitten Oval, Kearney was confident the club had the depth to cover the mounting injury toll.

"We've had a few injuries over the past few weeks which is obviously devastating for group and those young players, but we're confident we can replace those players," Kearney said on Tuesday.

"We relied on just a few players (to kick a score last season), but this year we've had contributions from a number of our players – both younger and experienced players.

"It's quite emotional for some girls who have really struggled over the past few weeks, but we've really rallied as a group and connected over these injuries.

"We're comfortable with where we're sitting at the moment, and comfortable we can replace Katie."

Sitting second on the ladder with two wins and a loss, the Bulldogs will face a Carlton side also missing its skipper, Bri Davey (knee), and suspended key forward Tayla Harris.

While the Blues are renowned as one of the best defensive teams in the competition, Kearney said the Dogs would concentrate on what they do best.

"We're not too focused on what Carlton are doing but they're going to be playing a high-pressure game," she said.

"We focus on we can do as we play an attacking brand of footy, and think Carlton will show on Friday night that they play that style as well.

"You don't want to have stars out of the game, but it's probably good thing (Harris is suspended) because she's a superstar of the competition.

"We want to play teams at their full strength, but unfortunately for her she'll miss."

Both teams will wear special Pride Game jumpers to mark the special occasion that will show support to the LGBTIQ community.