Western Bulldogs midfielder Lachie Hunter says the team is determined to improve on last season, and push for a return to finals action in 2019.

The reigning Charles Sutton Medallist believes a strong pre-season, and a balance of experience and new players, provide the ingredients for what will hopefully be a successful season.

“It does definitely feel like a new team and we’re as hungry as ever,” Hunter told Whateley on SEN1116.

“As most teams would say, it’s always hard to quantify it in the pre-season, because everyone’s going so well and it feels like they’re on top of the ladder at this point. But it does feel really good, and that’s all we can do at this point.”

As for a return to finals, Hunter says there is optimism within the group.

“For sure – I think that’s what a lot of the young boys bring as well, that enthusiasm, that keenness,” he said.

“And the boys who experienced it the first time around, there’s still obviously a fair few of us here, and we’re as hungry as ever.”

The 24-year-old said winning the Club’s best and fairest last season gave him a sense of belonging and achievement in his role, which he’s keen to build on in 2019.

Hunter averaged 29.8 disposals across 21 matches, with a career-best 44 in a late season win against North Melbourne.

He’s had an injury-free pre-season, and is keeping his goals simple for the year ahead.

“If you had to set out the ideal checklist, to play over 20 games again, for the club to build on what we had last year and definitely push towards finals, and I guess to be that leading influence I suppose through the whole year,” Hunter said.

“As long as I’m impacting games and doing what the coaches want, the rest kind of takes care of itself.”

As for beyond this season?

“I’m looking forward to signing for a while… Hopefully I’ll be here for life,” Hunter said.