Bulldogs looking to build AFL momentum - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs looking to build AFL momentum

13/05/2009 04:19:56 PM Comments (0)

Having negotiated a rollercoaster, the Western Bulldogs want to turn their AFL season into a sustained surge.

The Bulldogs gained plenty from Sunday's 32-point away win over Adelaide.

It ended a three-game losing streak, which followed their three straight wins to open the season.

Arguably their best two players, Brownlow Medallist Adam Cooney and forward Robert Murphy, produced their best games this season.

And coach Rodney Eade said several other experienced players had also regained form against the Crows.

The Bulldogs will start strong favourites this Saturday against Melbourne at the MCG.

Then come competition pacesetters Geelong, followed by Sydney at Canberra's Manuka Oval.

"It's good to have them back and they are keys to our side, but we're a pretty even side apart from that," Eade said of Cooney and Murphy.

"We've had a few of the 100-plus gamers, who form the nucleus of the side, down and they turned that around on the weekend.

"We've just got to build on that as well.

"We've certainly spoken about the fact that we need to build now and be a bit more consistent."

Eade added that Cooney and Murphy were still yet to hit their best form, following off-season surgeries that put back their fitness programs.

"They're still two or three weeks away from full fitness, Robert had 85 per cent game time last Sunday, which was a bit more than we'd hoped, but he's recovered pretty well," Eade said.

"Adam has had about 70 per cent, so we'd like to build that up over the next few weeks.

"He can improve, he was a little bit fumbly at times, he hasn't played enough games as yet."

The `Dogs are likely to field an unchanged side against Melbourne, with Ryan Griffen training on Wednesday after suffering a buttock muscle injury against Adelaide.

Shaun Higgins was a late withdrawal against the Crows with a groin problem and the Bulldogs will not play him unless he is fully fit.

"He's a good chance to play, but we're not going to take any chance with him," Eade said.

"It's a groin and we don't want those to linger on, he'll train later in the week.

"He's pulled up okay, but if he's 95 per cent we won't play him."

Meanwhile, Eade has called on Bulldogs fans to renew their club memberships.

After making last year's preliminary finals, the Bulldogs surprisingly are yet to reach 30,000 members.

"I know every club has a churn rate, but we have 6500 members who haven't re-signed from last year," Eade said.

"The players have shown they can persevere and stick through some hard times, so hopefully those supporters can re-sign over the next couple of weeks."

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