Gun midfielder Josh Dunkley says he is drawing on his experience of the drought-breaking 2016 flag to prepare for next Saturday’s 2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final.
Dunkley was just 19 years old – the youngest Premiership Bulldog – and in his first season on an AFL list when he received a Premiers medal that day.
He said being one of the more experienced players now means he can help guide the younger group.
“It was a crazy build up - I remember 2016 very fondly, and the way that it all happened, happened really quicky,” Dunkley told media over Zoom on Tuesday.
“I think obviously being a little bit older and probably one of the more experienced ones in the finals series, I’m just trying to help some of the younger guys.
“Guys like Laith Vandermeer, and Cody Weightman – guys that are really young and haven’t really seen finals footy before, it’s important that we get around them and get them excited about what’s to come.
“These things don’t really come around often so we’re pretty lucky to be involved in another Grand Final. We’re hoping to make the most of it.
“Being one of the more mature ones in the group, is going to be really important for me to do what sort of (the older guys) did for me last time in 2016.”
Dunkley said while the bye week will allow the group to soak it all in a bit more, it won’t distract them from the task at hand.
“The feeling of winning one is incredible, and it’s hard not to think about it, but as I said before we’ve got to really approach the week like it’s our last, and it is our last.
“We’ve just got to really put our head down and work really hard - the job’s not done yet, so we’ve just got to go out there and train really well and get together and enjoy the moment a little bit.
“When it comes to game-day, (we just need to) work really hard together and hopefully we get that win.
“It’d be unbelievable – I just get goosebumps thinking about it to be honest.”