Main content
Western Bulldogs Header Branding

Season in review

Fightback | When people power prevailed in the west As the Western Bulldogs commemorate the 30th anniversary of the '89 Fightback, Peter Gordon, Irene Chatfield and Terry Wheeler spoke to Bulldogs Media at the campaign launch about how people power prevailed and ensured the Club's survival.

AFL Media casts its eye over the Western Bulldogs’ season to date, including the star performers and big moments.

Best and fairest

1. Marcus Bontempelli – The brilliant playmaker has been the Dogs' most damaging player, averaging 27 possessions (12 contested), six clearances, a goal and a goal assist. Started particularly strongly and his only blemish has been his conversion.

2. Caleb Daniel – The diminutive runner has been a superb ball user in the back half where opponents have been forced to pay him considerable attention.

3. Jack Macrae – The Bulldogs' other tall left-footed midfielder has been his club's most prolific ball-winner, averaging 29 touches enjoying several standout performances.

Recruit of the year: Sam Lloyd – The former Richmond opportunist, 29, has enjoyed an impressive first season at Whitten Oval, tallying 17 goals (equal-best at the club), including six multiple-goal efforts, and being held goalless just once.

Most improved: Aaron Naughton – The teenage sensation from Western Australia finished fourth in the Dog's best and fairest last year as a key defender and this season has showcased his tremendous versatility and marking ability in attack.

Rookie of the Year: Bailey Smith – The uber-professional draftee seems set for stardom. Already nominated for the NAB AFL Rising Star award, the hard-running midfielder has played every game and averaged 18 possessions.

Goal of the year: Bailey Smith, round four v Collingwood – The youngster's first career goal was one to savour – a banana on the run while under pressure.

Mark of the year: Hayden Crozier, round four v Collingwood – The defender launched himself onto the shoulders of fellow high-flyer Jamie Elliott to take a sensational grab.