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Schache to attack 2019

Press Conference | Hayden Crozier Hayden Crozier spoke to the media today ahead of the Bulldogs first JLT match against Gold Coast

A bigger, stronger Josh Schache is determined to put his best foot forward this season as he looks to establish himself at AFL level.

The 21-year-old has played 40 games in his three AFL seasons to date.

He showed plenty of promise in his first season in red, white and blue in 2018, playing the last 13 games and booting 17 goals.

With a full pre-season behind him, the key forward has seen plenty of development.

“I think my body’s in the best shape it’s been,” Schache told westernbulldogs.com.au.

“In the off-season I went away with the goal to put on a bit more weight, and I’ve put on around four kilos now.

“That was the goal… just to put on a bit more size to play that position that I’m playing at the moment down forward a bit better, and be a little bit stronger in the contest.

“I feel like I’ve got fitter as the pre-season’s gone on, so in patches it’s been okay but there’s still things I’d like to tidy up in my game.”

Schache acknowledged he entered his second pre-season as a Bulldog with “a bit more expectation”.

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His first year at VU Whitten Oval was all about learning, and gaining respect – but they’re both areas he’s determined to keep growing.

“I’m really enjoying it at the moment and looking forward to the year ahead,” Schache said.

“I don’t try to look too far into the future. I set little goals here and there, each week and each training session, to try to get little things out of each session which will eventually lead to that bigger picture.”

A big part of that has been leaning on assistant coach Ash Hansen, who Schache said had been instrumental in improving his forward craft.

“I’ve been working closely with Ash, he’s been really good for me since I got to the club around positioning and remaining relevant to where the ball is and where the play is,” he said.

“It can be a pretty tricky to place to play, down forward, especially if it’s not going your way.

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“Things like playing on different defenders – if they like to play back shoulder or in front of you, how to get around those different defenders and try to play to your strengths.

“I’ve learned a lot from being here already, and I’m still learning heaps at the moment which is good.”

As for the plan in 2019, Schache’s ambition is to become a consistent player for the Bulldogs at AFL level.

“It’s obviously still something I’m trying to develop and trying to get there, to be that player,” he said.

“I’m trying to improve, setting little goals each week to try to make myself the best player I can be, and asking the coaches what I can do to try to be that best player.

“There’s no set spot there, so obviously I’ve got to do my best to get into the team and if I do get there to hold that spot.

“There’s a lot of competition which is good, and good for every player here - you’re never really set, which is good, it always makes you strive to be a better player.”

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