Finals footy is why you play the game – and Western Bulldogs defender Alex Keath hasn’t had to wait long for that opportunity in red, white and blue.
The off-season recruit has made a significant contribution in his first year as a Bulldog and will play in his first final, on Saturday against St Kilda at The Gabba.
“I’m really excited, I haven’t played one before,” Keath told westernbulldogs.com.au.
“This is essentially why you play the game, you want to play in these big games.
“The ladder position reflects what our season’s been like, so we’ve earned nothing more than just the first week and that’s how we’ll approach it.”
It’s do-or-die for the Bulldogs against the Saints – as it will be for any game they may earn after that.
The Saints have had the Bulldogs measure in recent times, winning last year’s clash by 27 points and earlier this year by 39 points.
A forward line that has featured the likes of Max King, Tim Membrey, Josh Battle and either Rowan Marshall or Paddy Ryder at times – plus the likes of Dan Butler, Jack Billings and Jack Lonie at their feet – has caused plenty of headaches for opposition defenders in 2020.
Keath said they would definitely provide a challenge and said he felt the Bulldogs were still working towards their best football, after hitting their straps in the run to the finals.
“They’re a dangerous outfit for sure and there’s definitely things we can learn from that first performance (in round two),” Keath said.
“It’s something we really want to improve on. We’ve just got to be ready for a fierce contest on Saturday.
“(As a back line) we’ve been able to build chemistry throughout the season and I think we’ve developed that and are looking forward to our first final together.
“We’ve obviously had a bit of a gap between our best footy and our footy that hasn’t been so good.
“To try to bridge that gap has been a challenge for us and I think we’ve still got a bit to work on. But we get a great look at this first final and we’re really looking forward to the challenge.”