After an interrupted season through injury, experienced defender Easton Wood is back at the right time of year.
The 31-year-old made his AFL return in Saturday’s win against the Adelaide Crows, after last playing at senior level in round nine.
Wood was part of a strong defensive – and team – performance as the Bulldogs restricted the Crows to just eight goals and claimed a 49-point win to retain top spot on the ladder.
“I was rapt to finally get out there after a fair layoff and have a great win with the boys,” Wood said post-game.
“I was really pleased with the way that we played. There were some tough conditions out there, the wind was quite strong but I’m really happy with the result.
“I played last week in the VFL scratch match and felt good and I was glad to see that translate.
“I felt like I had my speed and my endurance where I needed to. It was just great to be back out there.”
Wood’s interruptions this season have been for different reasons – a quad injury at the start of the season, followed by a hamstring injury and then an ankle injury as he was set to return.
The Bulldogs’ back line has had some injuries to contend with in 2021 – with the likes of Ryan Gardner, Hayden Crozier, Bailey Williams and now Alex Keath all spending time on the sidelines – but have been able to adjust.
Wood praised forward-turned-defender Josh Schache for his performance against the Crows, after being thrown back last week against Melbourne.
“He’s seamlessly fitted in back there,” Wood said.
“He reads the flight of the ball really well and adjusts really well with the ball so he’s in position to mark… and that’s what he did.
“I was really pleased to see him go well again. It’s really exciting for him.”