Footscray head coach Stewart Edge reviews the 13 senior-listed Bulldogs who featured at VFL level against Carlton on Friday evening.
16 disposals, three marks, two clearances
Mitch returned after the bye and being medi-sub for the AFL team. He played a variety of roles including forward, inside mid and also wing. He brings good leadership to the younger players.
30 disposals, seven marks, five inside 50s, three clearances, one goal
Lachie did a lot of work while away from the Club, so his fitness was ready to go. He had lots of involvements – he might be the first to say he was a little bit rusty, but in combination with a difficult, slippery night, his ability to amass 30 possessions was solid. He also gave good instructions to our younger players.
27 disposals, 10 marks, six rebound 50s, one goal
Croz has been really reliable in defence. He took on a lot of responsibility with the most dangerous Carlton forwards - his intercept marking and ability to clear the ball under significant pressure was really good.
17 disposals, 14 marks, two rebound 50s
Sam showed some encouraging signs off a two-week break. He’s increasing his game-time each week, and got through Friday night well. He continues to impress with his decision-making with the ball in hand, and with his intercept marking. Sam’s really reliable.
16 disposals, four marks, three rebound 50s
Zaine was our deepest defender this week. He played a terrific role, and was often quite isolated playing 1v1. He managed to halve all of his contests though, as well as coming off his opponent to help in the air at other contests. His form was pleasing.
Nine disposals, three marks, three goals
It was a long-awaited return for Josh – not only was it pleasing for him to return, but it was great for him to kick a couple of early goals and most importantly get through unscathed. By his own admission, he was probably lacking match fitness a bit, but was just excited to be back out there after doing so much work in rehab.
19 disposals, five marks, four inside 50s
Louis played both wing and half-back. He showed lots of bravery in the air and displayed some strong spoiling. There’s still some room to improve with his decision-making with the ball, which we’ll continue to work on.
24 disposals, 10 marks, four inside 50s, three clearances
Dom played on the wing – he’s showing real growth with his contested footy, which was highlighted in the slippery conditions when it’s not always easy to take contested marks and be clean at ground level. He’s continuing to get better each week, which is really encouraging.
Nine disposals, five marks, three inside 50s
From an athletic point of view, Arty continues to be one of our most talented players and hardest workers. He’s growing into playing senior footy and is starting to become more comfortable with the contest against men. He had a couple of great involvements where he showed real courage in the air – his enthusiasm is infectious.
17 disposals, six tackles, four clearances
Roarke also played a variety of roles, including inside mid. His tackling pressure and strength around the ball was really important. The inside mid role is definitely adding another dimension to his game.
27 disposals, eight tackles, eight clearances
Riley was another welcomed return – he’s been in rehab for a very long time. Despite it being a slippery night and a bit difficult for ball handling, he slotted back in as if he hadn’t been away at all. His tenacity and commitment to the team is exactly where he left off.
19 disposals, nine marks, six rebound 50s
Cody is learning a lot playing down back – he’s been put into challenging situations into defending swift opposition ball movement. He continues to improve his fitness to meet with the rigours of footy at this level, and is showing encouraging signs with his skills when part of our ball movement.
13 disposals, three inside 50s, 30 hit-outs
Jordon had a great start with some clearances and some forward-50 entries resulting in scoring opportunities for us. He then had to sustain that quality and work-rate throughout the night against some decent Carlton rucks, which was a challenge.
On VFL-listed players...
Josh Kellett off half-back – Carlton had a lot of talented small forwards, and Josh was significant in being able to nullify the influence of some of those guys. He really impressed.