Western Bulldogs midfielder Riley Garcia believes the work he has put in this pre-season will hold him in good stead for the season proper.

The 22-year-old has played 16 senior games since his debut in 2021, and while the ultimate goal is to add to that tally, understands he might have to bide his time in the VFL first.

“My goal this pre-season has been to get a bit of consistency in my body, and I feel like I’ve done that,” Garcia told SEN WA.

“I think I’m ready to go so will just be striving for that consistency – whether that’s in VFL to be ready for AFL or vice-versa.

“We have great depth in our list – something I try to focus on is just trying to get better everyday. Playing against the likes of Libba, Bontempelli and Macrae sets me up for consistent footy.

“I’m hoping to crack into that midfield at some point, so I’m finding that balance of biding my time but also being ready to crack in.”


Garcia was full of praise for his skipper Marcus Bontempelli, taking inspiration from him and other senior midfielders.

“I’m still in awe of the work ethic (Bontempelli) has, the type of player he is and how he goes about it,” Garcia said.

“I just try to focus on training against the best to become the best. It’s obviously exciting for me that I’m able to do that.

“We’ve got Bontempelli, but there’s so much other depth in our midfield so I feel fortunate that I’m able to play against those players and make myself better as well.”

The Bulldogs will meet North Melbourne at IKON Park tomorrow afternoon in a practice match, before facing Melbourne at the MCG in the season proper on Saturday 18 March.