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Duryea's career-best

It took Taylor Duryea just eight games as a Bulldog to achieve a new career-best.

It took Taylor Duryea just eight games as a Bulldog to achieve a new career-best.

The experienced defender went past the magic 30-disposal mark for the first time in his 126-game AFL career on Sunday, to play a pivotal role in the win against Melbourne.

Duryea finished with 31 touches – at a disposal efficiency of more than 90 per cent – to provide the Bulldogs with plenty of drive out of defence (six rebound-50s) and into attack (six inside-50s).

After missing two months of the season with a hip injury, Duryea has now settled in, and is making an impact in a Bulldogs’ side that has won four of its past five matches.

“It was just one of those games that panned out my way personally, but I’m just happy to be part of the make-up of that back seven and starting to have a positive influence on the group,” Duryea told media on Wednesday. 

“Obviously I was out for a little while being injured, but I’m starting to find my feet and getting to used to playing with a new club.”

The Bulldogs will encounter St Kilda this week – led by interim coach Brett Ratten, a former assistant coach in Duryea’s time at Hawthorn.

A win would edge the Bulldogs closer to the top eight.

LEWIS YOUNG RE-SIGNS FOR TWO 

“They’re probably going to come out with some extra venom,” Duryea said. 

“But I think out position with where we are right now, we just have to continue to play good footy and that’s what we’re doing.

“Our focus doesn’t change… we just want to keep improving on what we’re doing.”

Gun midfielder Tom Liberatore is expected to return from a knee injury, in what would be a “massive lift”. 

"When they’re firing it's a really tough midfield to play against, and I think it's one of the best midfields in the game,” Duryea said. 

“So to have (Tom) come back in and complement all the work that ‘Bont’ and ‘Dunks’ have been doing would be fantastic.” 

BONTEMPELLI A CHANCE TO FACE SAINTS

Another potential inclusion will be star half-back Caleb Daniel, who is pushing to return from a hamstring.

And Duryea says there is room for he and Daniel to form a damaging partnership in defence.

“I played in a bit of a different role to Caleb, I think we complement each other well,” he said. 

“He’s going to step back into the side, no doubt, when he’s ready to go and continue to have an impact.

“If we can complement each other and work together, I’m sure we can both be potent with the ball-in-hand.”

Two more years for Young

Developing key defender Lewis Young has re-signed with the Western Bulldogs.
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