Western Bulldogs 2019 AFL Season Preview & Analysis
After breaking a 62-year premiership drought the Doggies have gone backwards in the subsequent seasons. Can they bounce back to those dizzying heights in 2019?
Finished in 2018: 13th (8 wins, 14 losses)
Key ins: Tom Liberatore (injured) Taylor Duryea (Hawthorn) Sam Lloyd (Richmond)
Draft Picks: Bailey Smith (#7) Rhylee West (#26) Laitham Vandermeer (#37) Ben Cavarra (#45) Will Hayes (#78)
Key outs: Luke Dahlhaus (Geelong) Marcus Adams (Brisbane) Jordan Roughead (Collingwood) Tom Campbell (North Melbourne) Clay Smith (retired) Shane Biggs (retired) Jack Redpath (retired) Mitch Honeychurch (delisted)
Coach: Luke Beveridge
Captain(s): Easton Wood
Playing AFLX: Marcus Bontempelli (Flyers, vice-captain) Lachie Hunter (Flyers) Easton Wood (Rampage)
Summary: The 2016 premiers haven’t been back to September since their amazing drought-breaking premiership victory and that run looks set to continue. It’s hard to see the Bulldogs improving enough from their eight wins last season to push for finals but did finish the year strongly winning three of their last four matches to give fans some optimism this season.
They've lost a fair bit of depth and experience to retirement and trades meaning there’s opportunity for the next wave to step up and cement a spot. Bailey Smith is a ready-made senior player and a fit Tom Liberatore will complement what is an outstanding midfield.
Key stat: The Western Bulldogs had the equal worst record against the line (8-14) in 2018, only covering 36% of the time. They ranked #18 in hit-outs.
Round 1: Western Bulldogs v Sydney Swans @ Marvel Stadium – Saturday, March 23 – 07:20 PM
Best Brownlow Hope: Marcus Bontempelli
Prediction: Over 8.5 wins @ $1.80 with Sportsbet
*Odds are correct as of time of publishing