Midfield duo Marcus Bontempelli and Pat Lipinski have praised the impact of defensive general Alex Keath, as he prepares to face his former side for the first time this week.

The 27-year-old crossed to the Western Bulldogs from the Adelaide Crows, and has made a significant impact in his first year in red, white and blue.

“He’s just been awesome,” the Bulldogs’ skipper said of Keath’s addition on RSN’s Breakfast Club.

“We knew what we were getting when we brought him across to the club in terms of his playing ability, but he’s really impressed us with his leadership and ability to be a bit of a general down back.

“(He’s supporting) Woody and Zaine Cordy in their more senior roles, as well as helping some of the younger ones.

“His intercept marking has been a real strength, but the one thing that’s really impressed me is his off-field leadership and what he’s been able to do for the defenders around him.

“He’s been super impressive, he’s obviously playing the game incredibly well but we’re getting a lot more than just his playing.”

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His ability to read the play and match up on the bigger forwards has been a welcome addition for the Bulldogs.

And within the group, he’s taken no time to settle in either.

“He is a great man – he’s got the nickname, The Chief, up here,” Lipinski told SEN South Australia.

“He’s the chief down back… He’s such a polite, nice guy, but on the footy field once he crosses the white line he’s pretty aggro and plays with that hard edge. 

“Hopefully we can get the win for him and make sure that move to the Dogs was the right decision – which I already think it has been, he’s been great here and we love him.”