Main content
Western Bulldogs Header Branding

Jumping Jack Flash

Press Conference | Luke Beveridge (Rd17) Luke Beveridge spoke to the media ahead of round 17 against Melbourne.

That manic clicking sound you hear is AFL Fantasy players in offices all over Melbourne drafting returning midfielder Jack Macrae back into their squads, as he gears up to return against the Demons on Saturday afternoon.

Macrae will play his first game since he was struck down by a hamstring injury back in round 11 at Adelaide Oval.  At the time, the 23-year-old was being touted as Brownlow fancy, averaging a career-high 32 disposals, including back-to-back 40+ performances against the Queensland teams in rounds’ seven and eight.

He also averaged 120.4 DreamTeam points per contest, placing him third in the League, three points behind Hawthorn’s Tom Mitchell and just 0.2 points behind Magpie Brody Grundy in second.

More than just an accumulator, Macrae’s also posted career-high numbers in tackles this season (5.9), including 13 against the Crows in round 13, while former Bulldogs captain Bob Murphy’s been quoted as saying Macrae’s toughness is an underrated feature of his game.

“He does hold onto the ball for a while because he wants to see what options he’s gets, and that’s a different kind of courage, but you watch him, he gets an enormous amount of punishment,” Murphy said. 

“Clubs just bury him and they hit him, and without any fuss at all he just dusts himself off and will just get there again, and do the same thing again and just keep doing it and doing it.”

The Dogs will no doubt benefit from Macrae’s ability to get his hands on the football, particularly in the absence of Marcus Bontempelli, and the MCG has been a happy hunting ground in the past too.

Only at Ballarat’s Mars Stadium (40.5pg) and Cazaly’s Stadium in Cairns (32.5pg) does Macrae average more possessions than he does at the MCG (26.9), and the Dogs’ record suggests they don’t mind the drive up Flinders street from Etihad Stadium either.

The Dogs will play their first game for 2018 at the MCG on Saturday.  Click here for tickets and match day information.