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Smith, Redpath rapt for AFLX

Young pups prepare for AFLX Watch the Western Bulldogs' AFLX squad go through their paces at VU Whitte Oval, as AFLX Coach Rohan Smith discusses the group's focus for Saturday's inaugural tournament in Sydney.

Just before Rohan Smith left his office to front the media about his role coaching the AFLX squad this weekend, he was wrapped up by the powerful arms of his skipper, Jack Redpath.

Smith and Redpath will lead a youthful Dogs outfit into Saturday’s inaugural AFLX tournament, and the coach, the players and most of all the captain, can’t wait to get out there.

“He came up to me before and gave me a big hug and said ‘we’re ready to go’ so he’s excited,” the Bulldogs’ Development Manager said on Thursday.

The Dogs have named a side with a total of 65 AFL games experience, with 34 of them belong to the skipper, but Smith says the Club is using it as a development opportunity for the Club’s younger players, something he believes AFLX is ideal for.

“We’ve thought of it as a little bit of learning for our first, second, year players, he said. 

“We wanted to look at it as a positive, we wanted to see our future stars playing, hopefully some of these kids are going to play 200-plus games for our footy club and we thought we wanted to give them a little bit of exposure, travelling, in front of TV, opposition, in front of a good crowd, so we thought of it as a positive, not a negative.”

Redpath to skipper AFLX side

After 300 AFL games of the traditional kind under his belt, Smith is optimistic about what the AFLX concept might add to game.

“It’s a little bit of an unknown, the game style, but looking at it, it’s going to be exciting and if you speak to the kids that are going to play they’re all excited too. 

“You’re going to see some really good kids, some high draft choices playing.  As I said, they have no experience, but for them to experience this AFLX competition it’s great for them.”