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Battle-ready balance

Dalrymple on the rookie draft Exclusive vision from inside the Western Bulldogs' Preseason and Rookie Draft war-room at Whitten Oval, plus an interview with Recruiting Manager Simon Dalrymple to wrap up the Dogs' rookie draft.
Nick Lower in action during a Western Bulldogs training session at Whitten Oval, Melbourne. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Nick Lower in action during a Western Bulldogs training session at Whitten Oval, Melbourne. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)

Taking their pick of high-end teenage talent in the AFL Draft, the Western Bulldogs made a strategic decision to complete their list with mature, highly competitive and battle-hardened players, Nick Lower and Brett Goodes, to help drive the competitiveness of the younger pups.

Watch BulldogsTV's exclusive interview with Recruiting Manager Simon Dalrymple on the media player above.

At the conclusion of the 2012 AFL Draft, more than half of the Club’s 42 listed players (22 in total) were 21 or younger - as a comparison Gold Coast Suns had 25 in the same age bracket.

“With our list being so young - we were the third youngest list going in post the national draft - we just felt that we needed a bit of support for them,” Recruiting Manager Simon Dalrymple told Bulldogs TV.

“…to pick up Nick [Lower] and Brett -two really good characters [who are] competitive - will really help drive the competitiveness amongst the group.”

Goodes’ competitive streak ultimately saw him muscle his way to the top of the pecking order during pre-season training, beating Brent Prismall, Matthew Bate and Ben Duscher for the final spot on the Bulldogs list.

“We are thrilled to have him on board. Obviously we know him really well because he has worked in the welfare department in the last few years,” Dalrymple said.

“We see him as a really well-credentialed state league player, who’s going to add something to our list in terms of being able to play in the three parts of the ground and we see his kicking ability - particularly off half back - as a real asset to the team.”

His inclusion to the Bulldogs playing list will provide more flexibility amongst a largely inexperienced defensive unit in 2013 onwards.