Aker says time running out for Bulldogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aker says time running out for Bulldogs

By Sam Lienert 04/03/2010 02:20:37 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs star Jason Akermanis says time is running out for the AFL club to capitalise on their current strength with a drought-breaking premiership.

With Akermanis, 33, captain Brad Johnson, 33 and Nathan Eagleton, 31, all nearing the end of their careers, the three-time Brisbane premiership player said the Dogs had to make the most of this season.

"It's a chance, you know as an athlete the window's up, it's here now," Akermanis said.

"It is for a few teams, St Kilda will be saying the same and Geelong still think they're in it, so there are a number of teams that know the time is running out.

"From our point of view, we would have liked to win last year, but we've got to look at this year."

The Bulldogs' sole premiership came in 1954 and they last played in a grand final in 1961, but have made the past two preliminary finals.

Akermanis said the squad was ideally poised, with most players in their late 20s and having played a lot together, similar to the Lions' successful side of 2001-2003.

He said the recruitment of former Sydney premiership key forward Barry Hall was also a major plus.

"We haven't played with a pure big forward for a while, not for a long while in this group I suppose," he said.

"Big Will (Minson) now comes back into the ruck, we've got Bazza up forward, our little guys can push up the ground a bit more and put some more pressure on.

"Our pre-season's been enormous, if there's any club that's done what we've done, I'd be very surprised.

"I think you'll see the second half of games is where this group comes into it's own.

"It's very big, very strong, played together for a lot of years."

Akermanis, who went into 2009 declaring it his last AFL season, before strong form prompted a change of heart, said he was not yet declaring 2010 his final year either.

"From a guy 33, I don't really care how old you are, we get a lot of the guys who are that age out so early and that's a real shame for the competition, because these guys can still produce," he said.

"Unfortunately it's just a risk management for your list and that's the unfortunate thing about your age, it's the only time it comes into play.

"Everything else, as long as you produce, who cares?"

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