Australian Football Pre Seasons AFL NAB Challenge Live Western Bulldogs vs Richmond Tigers AFL NAB Cup match will be kick off at Whitten Oval Stadium in Melbourne, Victoria, Saturday 28 February 2015 online, 16:40 AEDT and its broadcast on Foxtell.
The new-look Western Bulldogs will go on show for the first time in Saturday’s NAB Challenge opener against Richmond, with players young and old revitalised by rookie coach Luke Beveridge.
Former skipper Matthew Boyd, having spent the majority of his career as a hardnut midfielder, has flourished across half-back in match simulation, both in a defensive role and finding the ball himself.
The Dogs are also searching for a consistent key-position defender. Former Cat Joel Hamling has been impressive throughout the pre-season and will be given the opportunity to forge a permanent role.
Hamling did not play a senior game in three years with the Cats, but former teammates Harry Taylor and Tom Lonergan spoke highly of him.
Bulldogs assistant coach Steven King said Hamling was ready to leave an imprint.
“He’s athletic, he’ll take the game on and he just keeps backing up and having a crack,” he said.
“He’s exciting to watch. No doubt his athleticism will hold him in good stead and I’m looking forward to him making the most of his opportunity.”
Beveridge said the Bulldogs needed help for vice-captain Jordan Roughead inside the defensive 50.
“We need some support. We need to play another big [defender]. We’ll do some different things. Bottom line is we need someone to support Roughie,” Beveridge said.
“A couple of boys have good pre-seasons in Michael Talia and Fletcher Roberts. Fletcher Roberts has had a couple of interruptions on the track but he has done the work.
Talia will also line up at the Whitten Oval but Roberts won’t. While Will Minson remains the starting ruckman, Ayce Cordy, after a strong pre-season, and Tom Campbell are pressing.
The Bulldogs have worked on quicker and more direct ball movement, with former rookie Lin Jong one of the standouts over summer and ready to add some pace to an emerging midfield. Saturday’s clash is likely to see a capacity crowd of about 12,000 fill the Dogs’ revamped home ground.