There have been plenty of highlights for the Western Bulldogs in the first half of the season, and here are just a few of the things we’ve liked.
In no particular order…
1. The Hawthorn comeback
How good was that?
From five goals down at three-quarter time to an incredible 19-point win.
A sign that the Bulldogs’ best is pretty darn good.
2. Caleb Daniel
The move to half back has paid dividends for Caleb Daniel and the Bulldogs.
And after his first half to the season, he’s bound to be in All Australian discussions.
His ability to use the ball coming out of the backline has been elite.
3. Taking the next step
There have been plenty of young Bulldogs in this category.
Aaron Naughton is making his mark as a forward, after impressing as a first-year player down back, and housemate Tim English has
shown plenty of promise in the ruck.
Josh Dunkley has been on fire over the past month, while Bailey Smith – one of our four debutants in 2019 – has played every game so far in his maiden campaign.
4. Libba’s return
Coming back from an ACL is hard work.
But Tom Liberatore has settled in seamlessly – he was superb particularly over the first month of the season.
He’s been a clearance and pressure machine for the Bulldogs, adding another dimension to a potent midfield group.
5. The Richmond game
It’s fair to say this was the game so far this year.
For four quarters, the Bulldogs were brilliant on their way to a 47-point win against last year’s preliminary finalist.
Proof that when the Bulldogs find consistency in-match, they are hard to beat.
6. Hunter and Naughton locked in
Heading off-field, and a big tick for the future.
Last year’s Charles Sutton Medallist, Lachie Hunter, and young gun Aaron Naughton have re-committed to the club for five and four years respectively.
We’ll hopefully be hearing a lot more of ‘Hunter, to Naughton!’ in the years to come.
7. Sam Lloyd
There’s no doubt that Sam Lloyd has been an important player for the Bulldogs.
Alongside Aaron Naughton, he leads the club’s goal-kicking tally with 17 majors – and he’s kicked at least one goal in 10 of his 11 matches.
His career-high is 35 goals in a season, which he’s on track to match in 2019.
8. Picko’s lap of honour
A fitting farewell for one of our Bulldog greats.
Liam Picken’s career may have been cut short by the effects of concussion, but he will leave Bulldogs fans with plenty of lasting memories.
It was great to have the chance to farewell him with a lap of honour ahead of the round three clash, and to see the red, white and blue faithful wish him well for the future.
9. Crozier sitting on heads
What a grab.
Hayden Crozier’s round four fly against Collingwood was superb, and is bound to be a contender for mark of the year.
The defender has made a habit of taking hangers, and has been one of the Bulldogs’ most influential players – before an injury kept him out against the Eagles.
10. Dale Morris
There was heartbreak for Dale Morris – and Bulldogs’ fans alike – with news of another ACL injury for the star defender heading into the season.
But much like last year, remarkably, Morris is set to return in the second half of the year.
His determination is incredible. We can’t wait to see him back out in the red, white and blue.