All-Australian defender Bailey Dale has praised teammate Buku Khamis for his efforts in the backline so far this pre-season.

Khamis, who has previously played in defence, spent majority of last season as a forward – finishing the 2023 VFL season with 41 goals from 18 games.

Speaking at the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation’s Sons of the West launch on Wednesday, Dale said it’s been great to play and train alongside Khamis in defence once again.


“Buks down back has been great – he’s played there previously but for him to come back and take those intercept marks that we saw him do down forward, he’s been helping us defend really well," Dale said.

“We’ve had a few focuses (this pre-season) – one of our main ones defensively is just stopping those runs of goals that probably cost us games last year, and even years gone by.

“That’s been a real emphasis this year – to stop that momentum and try to get the ball going our way so we can score as much as we can."

Khamis said while he is relishing a return to the backline, he just wants to put his best foot forward this pre-season.

“I’ve played as a back in the past, so it’s been really great to get my mind back to it again,” he said.

“Learning off the likes of Liam Jones, and Bailey Dale too – I’ve been really enjoying it.

“It is crowded (in defence)– but I just want to put my best foot forward and compete really hard. Everything else will take care of itself.”

The Bulldogs’ first test against opposition will come in the form of an AFL match simulation training session on Friday 23 February, hosting the Hawks at VU Whitten Oval from 11am.