A mix of youth and experience has been added to the Western Bulldogs extended squad to take on Adelaide Crows on Sunday, led by captain Matthew Boyd.
The skipper returns to the side after missing the past fortnight of football through injury, named alongside 2012 draftees Jack Macrae and Lachie Hunter in the extended squad.
“Coming into the team this week we have Matthew Boyd the skipper, back in after some calf complaints,” Strategy and Opposition Coach Brett Montgomery said.
“Jackson Macrae comes back into the squad and also we’ve got Lachie Hunter who was stiff to go out of the team in the first place… comes back in to boost our forward line.”
While Boyd brings his trademark courage and hardness, both Macrae and Hunter add a dash of class through the midfield and up forward.
In his debut season, Macrae has impressed in 13 games, averaging almost 18 disposals and three tackles per game on the wing.
Father-son recruit Hunter has been similarly impressive in his first six games, demonstrating real goal nous and vision.
Montgomery also praised the recent senior form of defenders Mark Austin and Liam Picken.
“Great form last week from our defenders, particularly Mark Austin coming back into the team after really deserving his spot after a really good couple of months of solid form down at Williamstown,” he said.
“Also Liam Picken, his last month of footy after being dropped out of the team, to go back and work on his craft,
“[He] has come in and put some of the most dangerous small forwards away in recent times”
Sunday’s round 21 clash against Adelaide marks veteran Adam Cooney’s 200th career game, with Montgomery encouraging Bulldogs fans to get to Etihad Stadium for the occasion.