Eade unconcerned over pre-season losses - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eade unconcerned over pre-season losses

By Sam Lienert 08/03/2009 05:36:27 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade isn't worried that his is the only AFL club yet to notch a pre-season win, saying the focus is preparing for a demanding start to the premiership season.

The Bulldogs, preliminary finalists last year, have not won a NAB Cup or practice game so far with Saturday's 27-point defeat to Sydney following losses to Essendon and St Kilda.

But Eade said the defeats were largely a side-effect of the `Dogs training their players harder than ever before.

"The main reason that we have trained extremely hard and loaded up the players is that we've got a very solid first five weeks of the season," Eade said at the club's family day on Sunday.

"We travel twice to Perth, probably playing in heat.

"The biggest thing coming back from Perth is the recovery, most times when we've come back from Perth we don't win the next week.

"So we've done all our hard work up to now.

"And also towards the end of the season we've had a fade-out the last two seasons, we think that we're going to address that by putting a lot of work into them before the season.

"Once the second half of the season comes in we can freshen them up and head into the finals full of run."

Eade said the club was also easing players back after injury-interrupted pre-seasons, Brownlow medallist Adam Cooney and star forward Robert Murphy playing limited minutes against the Swans.

They were also missing first-choice players including Matthew Boyd, Daniel Cross, Daniel Giansiracusa, Dale Morris and Nathan Eagleton against a strong Sydney side.

"Next week we'll have close to our best side when we play Melbourne (in another practice match)," Eade said.

Once the premiership season begins, Eade is intent on building on the Bulldogs' status as an emerging "powerhouse" of the competition, with a top four finish the minimum target.

"We've really got to cement our spot in the top echelon in the competition, we're looking again for a start to make top four," he said.

"To win a premiership you've got to finish in the top four, that's our first aim, if we can get top four then we can reassess our goals.

"We think we're as good as any team in the competition.

"If we have a bit of luck with injuries, which we're fairly confident of, we've got a lot of depth now, a lot of good young players, a lot of talent at the top end, the hunger's there.

"They've trained extremely well and we're certainly looking forward to a very successful season."

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