WESTERN Bulldogs forward Tom Boyd will miss Saturday's JLT Community Series clash with Hawthorn due to soreness, but is in a great frame of mind ahead of the season proper, says teammate Caleb Daniel.

The 22-year-old has had a solid pre-season after taking time away from the game last season to deal with mental health issues.

Boyd struggled in the windy conditions in a match simulation session last weekend and will train on Saturday with other teammates not selected for the match in Ballarat against the Hawks.

New recruit Josh Schache will play his first game in the red, white and blue, with the former Lion the only key forward selected after Jack Redpath was also left out of the 26-man squad.

Daniel said he was "a little bit" surprised Boyd wouldn't be running out with him for the club's first competitive match of the season.

"I think he might be a little bit sore but he's going all right, he's been training really well, and he'll have a training session tomorrow," Daniel said on Friday.

"He'll work really hard, I'm sure, with the rest of the group that didn't come here.

While he's been impressing all at Whitten Oval with his work on the track, Boyd has been making solid progress dealing with psychological side of the game.

Daniel said the full support of the club had the 2016 premiership star eagerly awaiting the start of the season.
"As far as I know he's going really well (with his mental health)," Daniel said.

"We're a really tight-knit group and the boys wrapped their arms around him when he was going through that.

"I think he's going really well at the moment, he's looking forward to the season starting and getting out there and playing some games."

After missing the club's match simulation session and the Hawthorn game, important trio Mitch Wallis, Clay Smith and Tory Dickson will all join Boyd in the training group on the weekend.

Daniel is one of the strongest trainers at the Dogs, and the hard-running midfielder has been impressed with Schache's approach since arriving at the club in October.

"His work-rate, he really works hard for people with the ball and to provide a leading option," Daniel said.
"He's a really fit guy and came back first day of pre-season and ran (great time trials) for a big guy.

"(He has) strong hands and is a lovely kick, which is really good to see.
"I'm looking forward to seeing him run around."