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Following in Dad’s footsteps: Bulldogs’ active father-sons

Father-son draft prospect Sam Darcy will join the likes of some esteemed company when he officially becomes a Bulldog.

Father-son draft prospect Sam Darcy will join the likes of some esteemed company when he officially becomes a Bulldog.

Here’s the five father-son recruits currently on the Bulldogs’ AFL list. 

 

Mitch Wallis

Pick 22, 2010 national draft

157 games

Since debuting as an inside and defensive midfielder, Mitch made the switch forward last season and was a shining light in attack. Named the Bulldogs’ leading goalkicker in 2020 with 25 majors, the 29-year-old was elevated to vice-captain for season 2021. Despite being starved of senior opportunities this year, the son of former Footscray captain, Stephen, played an important and supportive role off-field, particularly during the Bulldogs’ finals run.

 

Tom Liberatore

Pick 40, 2010 national draft

173 games

The son of 283-gamer and 1990 Brownlow medallist, Tony, Tom has established himself as one of the league’s leading contested ball-winners. Recording 189 total clearances at an average of 7.6 this season, to go with 23.9 disposals and 5.4 tackles on average, saw Tom claim a third-place finish in this year’s Charles Sutton Medal. The 2016 premiership player and 2014 Club Champion is an integral part of the Bulldogs’ engine room, and looks primed to continue his strong form heading into season 2022.

 

Lachie Hunter

Pick 49, 2012 national draft

163 games

Despite his father, Mark, playing predominantly as a defender, Lachie has arguably been most impactful playing on the wing. An elite endurance runner and excellent decision-marker, the versatile 26-year-old averaged 21.8 possessions, five marks and four inside 50s from his 25 matches this season. Lachie was also a member of the 2016 premiership team, and was named the Charles Sutton Medallist in 2018.

 

Zaine Cordy

Pick 62, 2014 national draft

104 games

Earning his senior opportunities as a forward in 2016 – including the drought-breaking flag – the son of former Footscray player Brian, has since returned to the Bulldogs’ backline. An athletic tall, Zaine played 19 games this season, including the preliminary final and Grand Final. His greatest output came against Port Adelaide in round nine, with 19 disposals, nine marks and nine spoils, while notching up the 100-match milestone in round 21 against Essendon. His three uncles and older brother Ayce, also pulled on the red, white and blue.

 

Rhylee West

Pick 26, 2018 national draft

11 games

Since making his debut in round 19 of the 2019 season, Rhylee has managed 11 senior games across three years on the Bulldogs’ list. A competitive midfielder-forward and son of seven-time Charles Sutton Medallist, Scott, the 21-year-old was a regular contributor for Footscray this VFL season. He averaged 22 disposals and six tackles to finish runner-up in the ‘Scray’s best and fairest count.

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