The SportingJournal

Big pups to turn into top Dogs

BY – JACKSON CLARK

TWITTER – @jclark182

 

The Western Bulldogs were so close yet so far in yesterday’s thrilling encounter with Essendon.

It was probably an indication of their season thus far.

And while the results have not always gone the Dogs’ way, its supporters should be full of optimism with a talented young list showing great signs.

The Bulldogs have reaped the benefits of early draft picks in recent seasons.

Its first selection in last year’s draft Marcus Bontempelli looks set to be a beauty.

The Rising Star favourite has all the makings of becoming a gun midfielder for years to come.

Despite his low disposal count, he was still able to have an impact against Essendon, which is a sign of a good player.

His overhead ability is one of his many strengths and his five contested marks yesterday was only seven short of the club’s entire total for the match.

Speaking to a Bulldogs recruiter around draft time last year, they mentioned that they wished for Bontempelli to develop into a similar footballer to Fremantle’s David Mundy.

At 192cm, Bontempelli is a prototype big midfielder that are often in high demand come draft time and he is not the only one that fits the bill at the Bulldogs.

Jack Macrae, who is still only 19 years old, has taken the AFL by storm in his second season.

The 191cm ball magnet has hit the 30-disposal mark on seven occasions this season, including 43 possessions against Gold Coast a fortnight ago.

Jake Stringer is another big-bodied player that the Bulldogs will hope can develop into a midfielder.

Stringer, who has spent the majority of his AFL career to date up forward, is a unique player.

He lacks the height of most genuine key forwards but has enough brute strength and nous around goal to be effective.

Stringer has proven at junior level that he can play through the midfield but injury issues, such as a devastating broken leg in 2011, have affected his start to the AFL.

They say a good midfield is the catalyst to a top side so sit tight Bulldogs supporters, better days are coming.

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Feb

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