Western Bulldogs young gun Jess Fitzgerald says the group will draw on their recent preseason hit-out against the Hawks ahead of their round two match.

The Bulldogs finished strong in the official match simulation at Kinetic Stadium last month, but Fitzgerald said a four-quarter performance will be critical come Sunday in Ballarat.

“That was a tough battle – I don’t think we rocked up quite expecting it,” she said.

“We definitely took some learnings away from that game.

“Playing them not that long ago – it’s still fresh in our minds.


“It was a pretty close game in the end so we’re going to come prepared to battle for four quarters.

“It might come down to the last couple of minutes until we get over the top but we’re going to try and start really strong.”

Fitzgerald has played 30 games since her debut in 2021, including all three AFLW matches at Mars Stadium.

She said connecting with the Western corridor is important, while the group feeds off the energy that the red, white and blue faithful bring.

“I love playing at Mars – I really do,” Fitzgerald sad.

“The spectacle of the ground is really cool, and I think the fans get around that.

“They bring the energy and the atmosphere, so we just sort of bounce off that.

“It’s a big ground, and it always tends to be lovely weather when we play there as well – I’m pretty keen for the game.”

Sunday’s match will also celebrate all things Western Bulldogs Community Foundation.  

“I’ve loved my time being a Community Foundation ambassador – I always say it, but I learn so much more about myself and the people in the programs than what I could teach anyone.

“The bonds that are created and the friends I’ve made already – it’s so special.”

The Bulldogs and Hawks will go head-to-head at Mars Stadium from 1.05pm on Sunday.