Over the next fortnight, westernbulldogs.com.au will look back on a season like no other – 2020 – reviewing every player who featured in more than three AFL games.
2020 Review: McLean, Naughton
2020 Review: Lloyd, Macrae
2020 Review: Liberatore, Lipinski
2020 Review: Johannisen, Keath
2020 Review: Gardner, Hunter
2020 Review: Dunkley, English
2020 Review: Dale, Daniel
2020 Review: Cordy, Crozier
2020 Review: Bontempelli, Bruce
Speedster Ed Richards got another year of development under his belt in 2020.
The 21-year-old was again a permanent presence in the Bulldogs’ line-up, playing 17 of a possible 18 games, and bringing up his 50-game milestone in the process.
With his line-breaking run and foot skills, Richards plays an important role for the Bulldogs.
And in 2020 he was asked to play a variety of different roles, spending time on a wing and forward, but also returning to defence at times in a familiar role across half-back.
By the numbers…
Score involvements: 3.2
Best game: Richards was an important contributor in round 14 against Geelong, as the Bulldogs flew out of the blocks before being run down late by the Cats. He had 11 disposals and had five score involvements, to go with a first-quarter goal as the Bulldogs opened up a six-goal lead. Richards impacted at both ends of the ground, with three inside 50s and two rebound 50s.
Bailey Smith went to another level in 2020, as he enhanced his reputation as one of the competition’s most talented young midfielders.
The 19-year-old had a season to remember, as he took on more responsibility in the Bulldogs’ midfield.
Smith played every game, averaging more than 20 disposals for the year – despite sitting out most of the round five win against North Melbourne due to concussion.
He complemented the Bulldogs’ existing midfield stars, with his ability to win the ball at the source, but also use his leg speed and penetrating kick to be an offensive weapon.
By the numbers…
Inside 50s: 3.6
Score involvements: 4.3
Metres gained: 300.6
Best game: It’s hard to go past Smith’s day out in round 12 against the Adelaide Crows. In a one-two punch with skipper Marcus Bontempelli, Smith was dominant. He had a career-best 37 disposals and generated an incredible 813 metres gained. Also won six clearances, had 10 inside-50s and 12 score involvements.