Bulldogs confident AFL finals win awaits - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs confident AFL finals win awaits

By Roger Vaughan 19/09/2010 06:21:05 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade knows if his AFL side can keep pressing, eventually they will break through their preliminary final barrier.

The Bulldogs lost their third-straight preliminary final on Saturday night as St Kilda went up a gear in the third term on the way to a 24-point win.

Rather than feel concerned that they are not taking their chances, Eade is confident they are continuing to improve.

The Bulldogs have to overcome well-documented injury and illness woes late in the season, as well as a worrying form slump, to make it this far.

"We were back to where we were in the last couple of years, we haven't fallen away," Eade said.

"We've had probably more hurdles to overcome this year, in the face of adversity I think we've stood up.

"Teams who win flags, the planets align.

"We have to keep knocking on the door until the planets align for us at the same time - we have the talent and we showed we have plenty of courage and spirit."

Soon after Saturday night's match, Eade addressed the team, board members and club staff.

It was effectively a statement of intent and the unofficial start of next season.

While Eade is, in his words, "bullish" about the future, he concedes the need for further improvement.

Apart from the pre-season title, the `Dogs have not beaten another top eight team for eight matches, including last year's finals series.

Premiership favourites Collingwood demolished them a fortnight ago in the qualifying final.

Eade is pleased with the Bulldogs youngsters, but said they would have to trade and recruit well.

"We showed (last night) we have the basis of a good side and the right ingredients as far as this spirit and courage," he said.

"We just need to be a little bit more poised at times, we need to execute, we need to take our chances.

"But with the right type of trading or recruiting and get a couple of players in, and with our young lads at the moment, I think our future is pretty bright."

Eade was asked whether the July sacking of Jason Akermanis had any lingering effect on the team.

His reply was "not at all".

Eade said as many as eight players would need post-season surgery.

Robert Murphy is probably among them after he hurt his knee early in the preliminary final.

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