The lid stays on at Bulldogs: Smorgon - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

The lid stays on at Bulldogs: Smorgon

By Roger Vaughan 15/03/2010 09:54:06 AM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs president David Smorgon promises the "lid" will stay firmly on at Whitten Oval in the wake of their stirring victory in the AFL's pre-season competition.

Saturday night's memorable 40-point win over St Kilda at Etihad Stadium gave the Bulldogs their first premiership of any sort since 1970, when they won the league's night series.

They have won only one home-and-away season premiership, in 1954, and there are great expectations that this season the drought will break.

High-profile recruit Barry Hall was best afield in the final with seven goals, giving him 17 goals in three pre-season games.

If Hall can stay fit and away from the tribunal, he will be the key forward the 'Dogs have missed so badly in the last two years, when they lost preliminary finals.

Smorgon said the team's focus will turn immediately to the round-one game on March 28 at Etihad Stadium against Collingwood, another side expected to challenge for the premiership this year.

"I can assure you, the lid is firmly on," Smorgon said.

"On Monday morning, the boys are back - round one.

"We've said from round one of the NAB Cup, Collingwood is our priority, we won't do anything to put ourselves at a disadvantage, that's what our plan was."

But Smorgon is also demanding the Bulldogs, so often the league's battlers, keep developing a winning mindset.

The only result that will satisfy the Bulldogs this year will be the premiership that counts.

"We're building a club, we're developing it season by season and we have to develop a harder edge," he said.

"I say we go into season 2010 (thinking) we fear no-one and nor should we - we've beaten Geelong last year, we kicked away from the Saints, the way we demolished them (last night), albeit in a practice match.

"We have to go into season 2010 confident of our ability to take on everyone and let every club worry about playing the Bulldogs.

"If we finish eighth, seventh, sixth, fifth, fourth, third, second - we're not going to be happy.

"That's what the attitude has to be, but we're not getting carried away."

Coach Rodney Eade said outside expectations would not affect what is happening within the team.

"We have no control over that, we talk about it internally, what we need to go through and I suppose the processes, the way we measure our effort and intensity and the things we value as a team," he said.

"There's a really good culture in the club and outside focus or distractions I don't think will have any impact."

The Bulldogs will have a solid four-day block of running from Tuesday to ensure they are fully-fit for the Magpies and no doubt to make sure their minds are back on the job after the pre-season title.

Captain Brad Johnson should be fit for round one after missing the pre-season final through injury, although Eade is concerned about his lack of match practice.

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