Filter Matches
Catchup on all the latest action from ${round}!
Loading…
Watch every match live and on-demand...
Loading…

No Ladder Available

There is currently no ladder available

Official AFL Premiership Ladder AFL Premiership Ladder

Naughton to play, Smith to return against Swans

Senior coach Luke Beveridge has confirmed key forward Aaron Naughton will play in the clash with Sydney as the Western Bulldogs welcome back gun midfielder Bailey Smith.

Senior coach Luke Beveridge has confirmed key forward Aaron Naughton will play in the clash with Sydney as the Western Bulldogs welcome back gun midfielder Bailey Smith.

The 2016 Bulldogs premiership coach also gave captain Marcus Bontempelli the all-clear despite concerns over an ankle injury that has lingered since round one.

Prime ball-winner Smith will bolster the Dogs' midfield against the Swans after missing round two with a minor hip complaint.

But it is Naughton who arguably shapes as the most crucial piece in Beveridge's plans to arrest a troubling 0-2 start to the season at Marvel Stadium on Thursday night.

The spearhead suffered a "deep cork" in a calf muscle in last week's defeat to Carlton.

"We trained the other day and we didn't put him through a full session but he's come through OK," Beveridge said.

12:15 Mins
Published on

Luke Beveridge | 'I back our boys in'

AFL Head Coach Luke Beveridge speaks to the media ahead of the Round 3 clash with Sydney at Marvel Stadium.

Published on

"He'll be named in the team and he should be no worries to play, which is a bit of a relief.

"He's such a difficult player to handle for the opposition with his athletic traits and what he can do with his power and his desire to compete like he does."

Sydney's tall forward line - led by 1000-goal spearhead Lance Franklin, Hayden McLean and boom youngster Logan McDonald - poses a significant threat to the Bulldogs after Carlton's twin towers Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay combined for nine goals last week.

But Beveridge is confident Alex Keath, Ryan Gardner and Zaine Cordy can blunt the Swans' attack.

"I'm not overly concerned," Beveridge said.

"I back our boys in and they'll do a better job if they get pressure on the ball (further up the ground)."

Bontempelli spent plenty of time in attack late in the Carlton clash but Beveridge said the move was strategic, as opposed to a way to manage the skipper through the contest.

"Physically he'll be fine, he's had a pretty good week," Beveridge said.

"He carries niggles and discomfort with a great deal of resilience."

Bulldogs defender Hayden Crozier will be managed through three quarters of a reserves match this week after a scary episode when he fainted during the Carlton loss.

Bulldogs Through and Through

Who we are, what we stand for. Past, present, future and forever.
Read now

Latest Videos

Latest Videos

More Video

Official Western Bulldogs App

The Western Bulldogs Official App is your one stop shop for all your latest team News, Videos, Player Profiles, Scores and Stats delivered LIVE to your smartphone or tablet!

Western Bulldogs acknowledge that we reside on traditional lands of the Kulin Nation. We offer our respect to the Elders of these traditional lands, and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples past, present and emerging.