Bulldogs determined to bite in 2010 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs determined to bite in 2010

By Robert Grant 17/11/2009 03:47:15 PM Comments (0)

After two successive AFL finals flops, the Western Bulldogs are determined to achieve redemption in 2010.

For two straight seasons the Bulldogs have fallen in the AFL preliminary final - to Geelong last year and to St Kilda this year.

But already players are assessing the results in terms of what kind of spark it can give them as they enter a tough pre-season.

Midfielder Shaun Higgins said on Tuesday the memories will help serve as a reminder of how much more needs to be done.

"You have to move on but I think deep inside everyone is still thinking of that burning desire of the last two, that have finished probably a week short than we would have liked," Higgins said.

"Last season obviously hurt a lot more than the year before just given the amount of work we put in three of four years.

"To fall short I think our boys will have a big pre-season looking forward to next year."

Defender Dale Morris said the players' reaction turned from shock to horror over the space of the two finals series.

"The first year, the one against Geelong, I guess it was a bit of a shock, like `jeez, look how close we are'," he said.

"The second year we had more belief because of the year before and to fall short two years in a row, for me personally, it was more devastating, the second time around.

"But you live and learn. You have to learn from it, you have to grow from it and get better, and it starts now.

"We can use that as a bit of motivation but you can't use that as your sole motivation to get through pre-season.

"The season's so long and so far away that by then it will have dwindled a bit."

Morris said not a lot was needed to match the powerhouse teams of Geelong and St Kilda.

"We just need a small percentage across the whole board to improve.

"It's not up to one player to improve 15-20 per cent. If every player can increase their output by two per cent even it will go a long way to making that next step," he said.

Apart from gaining big forward Barry Hall from Sydney, the Bulldogs also re-signed veterans Jason Akermanis and Nathan Eagleton recently.

"It just shows the stability of the club," Higgins said. "Also nine or 10 other younger guys signed towards the latter part of last season.

"So it shows if you can stick a team together year for a few years hopefully we can have that success we're looking for."

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