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CD’s change of pace

Caleb Daniel is enjoying a prolific second half of the season.

Caleb Daniel is enjoying a prolific second half of the season.

But what may surprise some is where the 25-year-old has been starring on-field.

After claiming his maiden Charles Sutton Medal last year as a half-back flanker, Daniel has been deployed in a range of on-field roles over the past two months of footy.

When the Bulldogs’ midfield was looking a little depleted, having lost Josh Dunkley (round six) and Adam Treloar (round 10) for extended periods, the Bulldogs needed someone to step in and fill the void.

And while added midfield minutes for skipper Marcus Bontempelli, ball-magnet Jack Macrae, winger Lachie Hunter and young gun Bailey Smith were all considerations, senior coach Luke Beveridge threw Daniel in the mix too.

In round 12 against Fremantle, he attended 10 centre bounces, while a fortnight later against Geelong he recorded five clearances while appearing at 12 centre bounces.

00:38 Mins
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People's Choice Moment of the Week | RD20

Caleb Daniel's nifty second quarter goal is the People's Choice Moment of the Week for Round 20. Brought to you by People's Choice Credit Union.

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Daniel continued to play more midfield minutes in rounds 17, 18 and 19 - recording a career-high eight clearances against the Swans – before equalling his season-high disposal tally against Melbourne with 34 touches in a dominant display.

He has even slotted forward to kick five goals from the past seven games, despite returning to more of his traditional half-back role last weekend.

Beveridge praised his versatile defender post-match on Saturday.

“When we were down on our midfield brigade, Caleb played inside and he’s playing everywhere,” Beveridge said.

“He’s such a talented and really important player for us. CD is just so reliable, and (against Adelaide) between him and Bailey Dale, they both would have caused some headaches.”

After welcoming back Dunkley against the Crows, the Bulldogs’ midfield could again be bolstered with Treloar expected to return to availability as early as this weekend.

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