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Season Review: Dale Morris

westernbulldogs.com.au reviews Dale Morris' 2017 season.

8:54am  Oct 18, 2017

Experienced Dogs set to return

Latest on Bob Murphy, Dale Morris, Jordan Roughead, Josh Dunkley and more.

5:03pm  May 15, 2017

Stringer grounded by knee injury

Injury updates on Jake Stringer, Josh Dunkley, Jordan Roughead, Dale Morris and Travis Cloke.

4:23pm  May 8, 2017

Latest Player Video

Morris 2017 Season Review

9:03am  Oct 18, 2017

Dale Morris on AFL Tonight

10:59am  Sep 22, 2017

Sons of the West on Game Day

12:35pm  Jun 27, 2017

Senior List

38

Dale
Morris

Height
190 cm
DOB
29-12-1982
Weight
91 kg
Debut
2005
Games
2017
11
Career
241
Goals
2017
0
Career
3
2017 AFL Fantasy Points
Total
443
Avg
40
DaleMorris

Player Bio

At a Glance

Junior Clubs: Werribee
Clubs:
Western Bulldogs
Debut:
Rd 5 2005 (Adelaide)
Recruited from: Werribee
Brownlow Votes:
1

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Western Bulldogs Cheer Squad
 

A highly dependable backman, Dale Morris has the versatility to line up on both taller and smaller opponents, assuming a key post or playing on a flank.  Named in the All Australian side in 2008, Morris's experience and leadership is invaluable. Morris joined the Western Bulldogs rookie list in 2005 after impressing for Werribee in the VFL.

Morris was a mainstay of the Bulldogs back-six throughout the 2016 season, and a member of the Club's leadership group. Despite a back complaint through the finals series, Morris played a key-role in all four finals victories, standing atop the podium as a premiership player on the first Saturday in October.

Season by Season

Season in short

A cornerstone of the Bulldogs’ defence since his arrival, only injury could deny Dale Morris adding more than the 11 games to his career tally in 2017.

On the field Morris continued to show his durability and resilience, averaging 90% game time in his matches – among the highest at the Club – while his selflessness and defensive contribution was reflected by the 7.8 one percenters he averaged per match.

Morris ranked 13th in the league for average one percenters per contest, and second at the Kennel in this category behind fellow defender Fletcher Roberts (8.1 per game, #7 in the AFL)

A broken leg sustained in round one against Collingwood saw Morris miss seven weeks at the start of the year, while an ankle complaint had him miss the round 12 loss to the Swans in Sydney.

Morris returned from a badly broken arm (round 18, Gold Coast) to play against Port Adelaide in Round 22. Despite needing surgery, he only missed three matches with the injury, furthering his reputation as one of the ‘Iron Men’ of the competition.

Stat that mattered:

Morris will prepare for a 13th AFL season next year after re-signing at the Western Bulldogs on a one-year deal in September.

What they said:

“The biggest moment for mine was the last game of the season with the two old boys retiring in Murph (Bob Murphy) and Boydy (Matthew Boyd)." 

"That was pretty significant for the footy club. I’ve spent a lot of time with them, they’re a similar age and my whole career has been with them.”

- Dale Morris, September 2017

Season in short

13 disposals at 85% to go along with five marks per game, Dale Morris was a stalwart down back in 2016 as he has been his entire career.

Once again he would be called upon to battle players both tall and small, and once again he would deliver. 

In round seven he stood Eddie Betts (173cm), Jack Riewoldt in round 16 (195cm) and in round 17 it was Gold Coast’s Peter Wright (203cm).

While forever the steady hand, playing through serious injury, Morris’ finals series was something special.

His lunging tackle on Sydney’s Lance Franklin in the final quarter of the grand final will go down in footy folklore.

 

The stat that mattered

His 159 intercept possessions were the most at the Club

 

What they said

“This year has been a challenging year for the Club.  You look at all the injuries that we’ve had throughout the year and the challenges we’ve faced, so to get to where we got to is just a phenomenal effort. 

“I think we played 39 players for the season or something, so we’ve had to work hard and everyone involved has contributed and done their bit.”

Season in short:

While the work of Robert Murphy and Matthew Boyd was spoken about at length in 2015, Dale Morris’ influence was just as important.

The 32-year-old once again took on the opposition’s best, playing on mainly small to medium forwards over his 14 games this season, but at times playing on the opposition’s key forwards – a role Morris has become accustomed to over his career.

Morris was sidelined for eight weeks from rounds 4-12 with a pectoral injury, and returned for one match through the VFL – delighting Footscray fans.

The veteran defender joined Murphy and Boyd as the leaders of the Dogs’ defensive unit, and was reliable, consistent and efficient.

Morris was also nominated as the Club’s most courageous player in the AFLPA MVP awards.

 

Stat that mattered:

Morris finished fifth in the league for effective disposals per game, at 87.1 per cent.

 

What they said:

“We’re forever changing, we’re forever learning, we’re forever doing things a little bit differently and this season was no different. I had to learn some new things in my game and be a bit more attacking, whereas in the past I’ve been more a defensive style of player, and to grow that attacking side of my game was a big emphasis this season.” – Dale Morris, September 2015

“This year with Bevo coming in, he actually wanted him to play on a smaller guy and sometimes play on a key forward but maybe look at the medium and small forwards for the opposition.

“Moz had a hampered pre-season which hurt him a little bit and then he got injured pretty badly against Hawthorn… But him coming back into the side, I think he played the last ten games in a row, and there’s no coincidence that our back line grew in that ten weeks.

“He’s such an important player for us, his never-say-die attitude, his selflessness to provide a block for someone else or put his body on the line for a spoil, he’s just such an important player for us.” – Rohan Smith (Western Bulldogs Assistant Coach), September 2015

Season in short:

The ever-reliable backman played 20 games in 2014 at 84.6 per cent disposal efficiency.

Morris gave away a height advantage on the majority of his opponents in 2014, but fought hard and provided much needed experience in Dogs defence.

Morris averaged 11 disposals and signed a one year contract half-way through the year, and will continue to provide a mentoring role for many of the Dogs younger defenders.

 

The stat that mattered:

Morris ranked 17th in the league for one percenters, highlighting his ability as a ‘team-first’ player.

 

What they said:

“It would mean a lot (to play finals again). We’ve really had to work hard to build this team back up so it would be great to be a part of it when the club does get back to the successful times and finals.

“It will also be rewarding if we are there to enjoy the spoils that we know we have had a big part to play in the future of this club. It’s something you can sit back and take a lot of pride in.” – Morris following his contract extension in July 2014.

Season in short:

On the comeback trail from a long-term leg injury, Bulldogs favourite Morris returned to his best in 2013. The stalwart defender played every match, recapturing the ruthlessness to handle  the competition’s most dangerous forwards. Teammates, coaches and fans alike have come to know and love the defender’s courage and were delighted to see Morris duly presented the Scott West Most Courageous Player award at season’s end.

Stat that mattered:

Notching more one percenters than ever before (seven on averages), Morris’ courage and willingness to put his body on the line cannot be underrated. A seven week purple patch in the middle of the season also saw the 30-year-old average nine one percenters per game. Morris also had five games in which he laid five or more tackles.

What they said:

“People always ask me who have you learnt the most from in your first year and I would always tell them Dale Morris, and they would be surprised because he wasn’t playing. Just the amount of work that he did with me, we would go to games and we would sit next to each other and we would watch particular back men. He would point out parts of the game that he could do better or he did well defensively.”

- Michael Talia in May 2013

Season 2012 was spent predominantly on the sidelines for Morris as he worked tirelessly to overcome a persistent leg injury. One thing that cannot be denied is his resilience and optimism through the testing period. After playing a quarter of football with the VFL Reserves in April, Morris was forced back into the rehab group with a stress fracture. The highly respected veteran has been working hard to set himself up for a big pre-season ahead of 2013. 

Season by Season

The ever-reliable defender was stuck-down by a horrific injury in Round 21 after a fantastic season in defence. Morris broke the tibia and fibula bones in his right leg against Essendon and was lucky enough to avoid surgery. In his 18 games in 2011, he registered a career-high 23 disposals against St Kilda in round 12 and finished fifth in the Club’s best and fairest. Morris worked tirelessly in the rehabilitation group over the summer.

Stats

By the numbers

  • 2017 Season Average
    Games Played 11
    • Kicks 3.5
    • Handballs 6.7
    • Disposals 10.2
    • Marks 3.1
    • Hit-Outs 0.0
    • Tackles 2.2
    • Goals 0.0
    • AFL Fantasy 40.3

2017 Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 6 West Coast Eagles Rd 15
Handballs 10 Hawthorn Rd 23
Disposals 16 Collingwood Rd 1
Marks 7 Collingwood Rd 1
Hit-outs 0 - -
Tackles 4 Port Adelaide Rd 22
Goals 0 - -
AFL Fantasy 62 St Kilda Rd 10

2017 Season Breakdown

Rd Opponent Result K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF
1 Collingwood W 86 - 100 6 10 16 7 0 0 1 1 0 0 60
2 Sydney Swans W 110 - 87 - - - - - - - - - - -
3 Fremantle L 89 - 73 - - - - - - - - - - -
4 North Melbourne W 86 - 89 - - - - - - - - - - -
5 Brisbane Lions W 122 - 90 - - - - - - - - - - -
6 GWS Giants L 75 - 73 - - - - - - - - - - -
7 Richmond W 80 - 75 - - - - - - - - - - -
8 West Coast Eagles L 69 - 61 - - - - - - - - - - -
9 Geelong Cats L 104 - 81 2 6 8 2 0 1 0 2 0 0 33
10 St Kilda W 90 - 50 6 9 15 5 0 1 2 4 0 0 62
12 Sydney Swans L 88 - 42 - - - - - - - - - - -
13 Melbourne L 56 - 113 3 3 6 2 0 0 2 2 0 0 23
14 North Melbourne W 107 - 106 4 4 8 1 0 2 2 3 0 0 31
15 West Coast Eagles L 80 - 87 6 6 12 3 0 2 0 3 0 0 53
16 Adelaide Crows L 104 - 45 1 10 11 0 0 3 1 2 0 0 31
17 Carlton W 62 - 82 3 8 11 5 0 0 0 1 0 0 44
18 Gold Coast Suns W 110 - 56 2 3 5 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 23
19 Essendon W 127 - 97 - - - - - - - - - - -
20 Brisbane Lions W 89 - 103 - - - - - - - - - - -
21 GWS Giants L 57 - 105 - - - - - - - - - - -
22 Port Adelaide L 79 - 96 4 5 9 3 0 0 1 4 0 0 44
23 Hawthorn L 99 - 90 1 10 11 4 0 0 0 1 0 0 39
TOTAL W: 11 - L: 11 38 74 112 34 0 10 9 24 0 0 443

By the numbers

  • Career Average
    Games Played 241
    • Kicks 5.4
    • Handballs 6.6
    • Disposals 12.0
    • Marks 4.2
    • Hit-Outs 0.0
    • Tackles 2.6
    • Goals 0.0
    • AFL Fantasy 52.0

Career Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 14 St Kilda Rd 20, 2014
Handballs 17 Geelong Cats Rd 20, 2010
Disposals 23 St Kilda Rd 12, 2011
Marks 15 Brisbane Lions Rd 11, 2007
Hit-outs 1 Hawthorn Rd 14, 2010
Tackles 11 Richmond Rd 2, 2010
Goals 1 Sydney Swans Rd 7, 2011
AFL Fantasy 114 Brisbane Lions Rd 11, 2007

Career Breakdown

Season Club K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF
2017 Western Bulldogs 38 74 112 34 0 10 9 24 0 0 443
2016 Western Bulldogs 129 178 307 104 0 20 9 54 0 2 1266
2015 Western Bulldogs 70 85 155 69 0 10 2 35 0 0 731
2014 Western Bulldogs 119 108 227 82 0 16 8 47 0 0 999
2013 Western Bulldogs 122 133 255 83 0 22 16 51 0 0 1059
2012 Western Bulldogs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2011 Western Bulldogs 127 100 227 80 0 21 10 69 1 0 1094
2010 Western Bulldogs 111 141 252 73 1 19 7 62 0 1 1082
2009 Western Bulldogs 115 187 302 123 0 12 10 59 1 2 1314
2008 Western Bulldogs 156 170 326 120 0 22 13 73 0 0 1443
2007 Western Bulldogs 135 126 261 101 0 16 9 56 0 1 1174
2006 Western Bulldogs 127 170 297 104 0 18 13 56 1 3 1245
2005 Western Bulldogs 56 107 163 48 0 16 8 43 0 1 691

Legend

K
Kicks
H
Handballs
D
Disposals
M
Marks
HO
Hit-outs
FF
Frees For
FA
Frees Against
T
Tackles
G
Goals
B
Behinds
AF
AFL Fantasy points

Awards

AFL Awards

All-Australian
2008

International Rules Series
2005

Club Awards

Western Bulldogs Third Best and Fairest
2009

Western Bulldogs NAB Cup Premiership Side
2010