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Four things to watch: Round 1

Press Conference | Luke Beveridge (Rd1) With the first game of the season tomorrow night, senior coach Luke Beveridge spoke with the media to preview the Swans v Bulldogs clash

All the key talking points for the Western Bulldogs’ opening round clash with the Sydney Swans at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.

  1. The wait is over

It’s unseasonably warm in Melbourne this year, which combined with the Big Bash extending their season by 110 games, means it doesn’t quite feel like footy season is as close at it is.

Or does it? This great little video of Bailey Smith getting the news that he’ll debut this weekend turned the key for us.  

Come Saturday, when the kids’ sport is done with, the lawn is mowed, and the fridge is full, that’s when the excitement absolutely kicks in. That’s when we dare to dream just a little that, once again, this could be our year. It’s why we love the game, and it’s why we pass it down to the kids. You recognise that feeling…there’s nothing like the season opener, right before the bounce.

Are you ready Dogs fans? Fire UP!

ROUND 1 MATCH-DAY INFORMATION

  1. Stranger Things

Netflix dropped the much-anticipated trailer to the third season of the brilliant Stranger Things this week, right on the eve of Round 1. We’re reasonably sure the two happenings aren’t related, but they could just as well be, because honestly, who knows what’s going to happen this weekend, right across the League.

Which get us to this - what can we make of the Dogs’ prospects this year?  And more to the point, what will we be feeling late on Saturday night?

One thing is for sure, win or lose, we will definitely overreact to whatever happens. And then do it all over again next week.

LISTEN TO THE FREEDOM IN A CAGE PODCAST

  1. Bud books in

Will he, or won’t he? That’s been the question on everyone’s lips about Buddy Franklin’s availability for the season opener.  Big ‘Bud’ has declared himself fit, and you can guarantee the Dogs’ coaching will be ready for it.

Even at 32, and having trained about as much as Woofer has this pre-season, Franklin remains a colossus, a match-winner the likes of which our game has rarely seen, and who’s demise has likely been greatly exaggerated.

And while the boys will literally be dressed as Thor this weekend, the Dogs’ will be without their own actual real-life superhero, Dale Morris, to help put the clamps on him.

There’ll be plans A, B and C ready to roll out to stop Lance, but let’s not forget the Swans have plenty of other forward threats to take care of.

At the other end of the ground, the Dogs are hoping young gun Aaron Naughton can show us all what he can do. He’s a genuinely exciting talent, is young Naughts.

ROUND 1 MATCH PREVIEW

  1. Goals, goals, goals

So, where’s it won and lost? As with most football these days, as it is with Brownlow voting, it all starts in the midfield. 

The Dogs had no trouble getting first use of the ball last season, and getting it inside 50. With Naughton forward, Schache looking more and more confident, and Billy Gowers showing why Bevo pushed for him to be taken in the 2017 draft, the forward line is young, but promising.

That’s before you mention new boy Sam Lloyd; Toby McLean is expected to drift forward on occasion, Tory Dickson of course, and oh yeah, the tall fellow in the number four guernsey has won the odd game on his own down there, there’s more than enough talent to hit the scoreboard.

Oh, and don’t forget this guy. Loves a goal as much as he loves his fruit and nut bars, and is a beast around the footy too, don’t forget. Is all of this enough to snag that all-important first win?

We can’t wait to find out. Is it Saturday yet?

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