Josh Bruce says the Bulldogs playing group has the belief and buy-in to produce a consistent and successful 2023 campaign.
Speaking to reporters at the Dogs’ preseason camp in Portsea, Bruce said the shift in confidence has mostly been natural.
“There’s a really good buy-in from the entire list. It really feels like everyone is pulling in the right direction,” Bruce said.
“You can really feel it when you’re out there training. It’s a great group to be part of – I’m really enjoying it.
“I think (the belief) is something that sort of happened naturally. We lost the grand final two years ago, and then last year was obviously disappointing off the back of that...the boys are under no illusions that this group is definitely more than capable of being right up the pointy end.
“First and foremost we want to be consistent and give ourselves the best chance in September, but it’s still early doors – it’s only January and pretty early to be talking about flags but we’ll see how we go.”
Bruce credited senior coach Luke Beveridge and the assistants for their work off-field, particularly around the team-focused camp activities.
“Some of the things we’ve been working on in terms of that cultural side of things – the inclusiveness, the buy-in from the entire playing group and coaches in particular - I think it’s that intangible thing.
“You can’t really put your finger on it, but it certainly feels like we’re moving in the right direction.
“It’s been predominately (a focus) at the footy club to be honest - this camp is just an extension of that.
“The coaches have organised some awesome activities – we’ve done some high ropes, rock bouldering and swimming today, but Bevo always has a few secrets planned so there might be a big hike or something for us.
“He’s really dialled things up in terms of the holistic nature of the group and the culture.
“There’s certain aspects of this group that is probably the best culture I’ve been part of in my time in footy.”