Western Bulldogs captain Ellie Blackburn says the team will not use injuries as an excuse, despite the disappointing opening round result.
“We’re not using it as an out, but it is the reality of the situation - we’ve got quite a number of players sitting on that injury list at the moment,” Blackburn told the W Show on Thursday.
“I definitely think it adds a little bit to where we’re at as a team, but we’re not using it as an out – it’s just the inevitable. Injuries are just part of the game we play.
“It’s hard to process and gain a full level of confidence in your ability (if you’ve had an interrupted preseason) because that injury cloud is sitting over your mind I suppose when it comes to coming into games.
“We’re a really resilient group. We rally around each other really well, and our medical team and support staff are doing everything they can to help us.
“As a playing group we’re trying to support each other as best as possible on the field.”
Blackburn also praised her midfield partner in crime Kirsty Lamb, for her efforts despite also suffering an interrupted preseason.
“She’s an absolute bull and fighter out on the field,” the skipper said.
“You just know – despite the injury cloud that she probably has been under this preseason – that you’re going to get such a great amount out of her on the field regardless of what that preseason has looked like.
“It definitely hasn’t been ideal for her circumstances, but she gives her all and that was evident on the weekend.”
A silver lining to the injury front saw the Bulldogs field three debutants on Saturday night, in Bree McFarlane, Dom Carruthers and late inclusion Maggie Gorham.
“It was amazing and such a special moment for those three players to get their guernseys for the first time,” Blackburn said.
“From Maggie’s perspective, it was actually the first time her parents had found out she was debuting as well so it was a nice moment for them to share together as well.”
The Bulldogs will host Hawthorn at Mars Stadium on Sunday afternoon, with the first bounce at 1.05pm AEST.