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Smith settled in

Smith | 'I've been looking forward to playing more and more' Bailey Smith spoke to BulldogsTV during the first day of the BUlldogs 2019 Community Camp

Bailey Smith’s new teammates have been quick to embrace the hype.

Eye-catching, ultra-professional, committed and diligent are words that have been openly thrown around when asked about the young star in media interviews this pre-season.

Plus the ‘best rig at the club’ tag.

But the AFL landscape is something that Smith, pick seven in last year’s NAB AFL Draft, is taking in his stride as he pushes for a round one debut in red, white and blue.

“It’s been really good,” Smith said of his first pre-season.

“I’m getting used to the long days training… and the exposure I’ve got so far from playing proper games has been pretty tough, it’s very fast, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it as my experience gets up.”

The 18-year-old’s taste of the elite level has been a half of football in each of the Bulldogs’ JLT Community Series matches against Gold Coast and St Kilda.

He had nine touches against the Suns, and 12 against the Saints.

“I’ve just soaked it up, I certainly haven’t taken it for granted,” Smith said.

“It’s been the best, being able to run out with some of my best mates now, and just such a good experience for me and all the other boys, trying to get that team chemistry up before round one.”

Smith acknowledges the Dogs have areas to improve ahead of the season proper, with the connection between the midfielders and forward line one area in need of fine-tuning before facing the Sydney Swans next Saturday night.

The dynamic midfielder will be hoping his name comes into calculations as senior coach Luke Beveridge’s locks in his team for round one.

“Round one’s rolled around so quickly, it feels like yesterday I first started at the club,” Smith said.

“I’m just so excited, I’ve been really looking forward to playing more and more footy.

“You get a bit sick of training over pre-season and just before the season when it rolls around, you get so excited so I’m super pumped and can’t wait.”