The key callouts from each of the Western Bulldogs draftees’ press conferences.

Ryley Sanders

“Bailey’s kind of been a hero of mine growing up. He’s definitely one of my favourite players, so it was a bit weird competing with him in the (2km) running. I thought I might have had him in the end but he just went past me – he’s a star.

“The running side of things is definitely something I’ve tried to improve. After the season finished up, I put a lot of work into it, so it’s good when it comes out (like that).

“I just want to earn respect from all the boys. Now that the Draft is finished it doesn’t matter what pick you go – you’re here and a year one player now. You start down the bottom of the pecking order so I just want to train hard and get the best out of myself.

“I think they’ve got the best midfield in the competition with Bont, Libba, Treloar and all those boys. I just want to learn off them and really pick their brains so I can hopefully get to their level.”

Joel Freijah

“I thought I’d be up there since I was leading most of it, but then Baz and Sando got me in the end. It was a good race and nice and competitive.

“I knew (Baz) would come home pretty strong in the end.

“I moved in with Libba last Thursday night and then started training here Friday. I’ve loved meeting all the boys.

“It’s been awesome. He’s been cooking really well which has been great. He made a steak the first night and then a nice curry the other night. He’s looking after me very well.

“All of the boys have taken me under their wings, especially on Monday.

“I just want to come in and earn respect by working hard and training hard. I’ll focus on that and then see where that leads me.”


Lachie Smith

“It’s definitely been an eye-opener seeing what the boys do.

“I’m looking forward to it – I want to learn a lot off Tim. He’s definitely the best ruckman in the league, so it will be good to learn from him, and put some tricks into my bag.

“Whatever opportunity I’d get (next season) I’d have a dip.

“I wouldn’t have watched (Brendon Lade) much because I was more of a Hawthorn fan back in the day, but I’ve already heard great things from him and looking forward to learning stuff off him too and adding that to my game.”

Aiden O’Driscoll

“It’s been good – the move came quick. I’m just keen to get going.

“My brother just said to be ready for whatever is coming – do the extras, be early and always be focused. Just to control the controllables. Emma was supportive and wished me good luck.

“I’m in with Aaron Naughton at the moment until Christmas-January, and then will work out what I’m doing from there. He had dinner cooked for me on night one, and he’s a really good cook so I was happy with that.

“(The move brings) New beginnings - you meet new people too, so once you find the relationships here, you’ve also got the ones back home you can fall back on.”