Excitement building for Dogs, says Daniel

Excitement building for Dogs, says Daniel

Caleb Daniel says the Bulldogs are embracing the excitement, rather than feeling pressure to perform.

The Western Bulldogs are the talk of the AFL after a bumper off-season and defender Caleb Daniel says they are embracing the excitement, rather than feeling pressure to perform.

The Bulldogs snared on-baller Adam Treloar from Collingwood in a blockbuster late trade while retaining wantaway midfielder Josh Dunkley.

They also added forward Mitch Hannan and ruckman Stefan Martin – before landing No.1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan in December.

"Any time you're able to recruit really quality players it really adds excitement to, not just you but, the supporters and the outside media I guess," Daniel said.

"But inside the four walls we're really excited about what the new guys are able to do for the team and what we're able to do around them.

"So they're all putting in the hard yards along with us and they're looking forward to eventually – it's coming around pretty soon – but getting stuck in to games and different things like that in competition for spots in that midfield."

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Ugle-Hagan missed the Bulldogs' return to training last week after falling ill and having to wait on the results of a COVID-19 test but has hit the track this week and Daniel was confident the key forward could make an early impact.

"He just did a running test and added some skill stuff with us but you can tell how skilful he is, and he'll definitely add a different dynamic to that forward line," Daniel said.

"I'm really looking forward to getting out and playing some match sim with him and being able to find out how he goes about his business."

Daniel said Dunkley hadn't missed a beat since his proposed trade to Essendon fell through, while Tom Liberatore had been among the midfielders to impress.

He also expected young ruckman Tim English to accelerate his development working alongside experienced recruit Martin.

"It's not just that (our recruits are) quality players but they're quality people, they're going to be quality leaders and help out our younger guys," Daniel said.

"Timmy's still really young, 23, so to have Stef who's played for 10-plus years, it's pretty special."

While the Bulldogs' run-and-gun style is expected to continue, Daniel said coach Luke Beveridge had emphasised improving their defensive efforts.

An All-Australian in 2020, Daniel expected to line up off half-back again this year but could also spend time further up the ground.

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