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Defence the way forward for Duryea

Dogs turn up the heat The Dogs hit the track for a hot summer training session.
Taylor Duryea is looking forward to spending more time in defence this season. (Photo: AFL Media) - Western Bulldogs,Taylor Duryea
Taylor Duryea is looking forward to spending more time in defence this season. (Photo: AFL Media)

A return to a more customary role in defence for new Bulldog Taylor Duryea has the former Hawk excited about the impact he can have in 2019.

The 27-year-old found success in a number of positions in his final few seasons at Hawthorn, but the switch to VU Whitten Oval has seen him train predominantly with the backs in the pre-season so far.

“I’ll play the majority down back.  I think that’s where I play my best football, and I’m most confident there,” Duryea told RSN.

“I think I can add the most in that space with leadership and direction, and I think I can add some versatility to the backline.  That’s the role I’ve been training so far.

“I want to get back to being bold with the footy and backing in my leg.  I felt like in the last couple of years, whether it was positional change or a lack of confidence, I sort of went away from that.

“To bring that back into my game is something I’m looking forward to.”

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Duryea is also looking forward to seeing what impact Tom Liberatore can have this year, as he continues his comeback from a knee reconstruction.

“He’s impressed me a lot.  I obviously haven’t played against him in the last couple of years, seeing he’s been injured,” he said.

“You just forget how powerful he is around the stoppage.  His work rate is phenomenal, and he just never stops.

“That’s one of the things I’ve really come to admire about him since being at the Club, is just his competitive nature and how hard he works every single training session.  I’m excited to see him out there this year.”

As for the Christmas break, Duryea tried, but failed, to conquer an annual fishing challenge on the Murray River in his hometown of Corowa in New South Wales.

“I love going out for a fish.  The challenge is to catch a metre-plus cod,” he said.

“Every time I go up home that’s what I try to get done, but unfortunately I’ve fallen short every time.”