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  1. #1
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    Young Dog primed for 2019

    Young Dog primed for 2019 after shock B&F finish

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    A SHOCK fourth-place finish in the Western Bulldogs' best and fairest has given first-year key defender Aaron Naughton the confidence he has what it takes to combat the AFL's star forwards.

    Assigned the daunting tasks of standing gun goalkickers Lance Franklin, Joe Daniher, Jack Darling and Jeremy Cameron in his debut season, Naughton didn't look out of place against the quality quartet, and his efforts were rewarded at last month's Charles Sutton Medal count, despite missing four games through injury.

    When reflecting on such an admirable achievement, the 19-year-old says the coaching panel's acknowledgement gives him the belief he's capable of better things next season.

    And it should come as no surprise he breezed through his exit meeting, with coach Luke Beveridge, backline coach Steven King and football manager Chris Maple all giving the West Australian a gold star for a season that saw him earn a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination.

    "I guess I was a little bit surprised because I didn't know how the voting worked, and when I got (to the best and fairest on the night), they told me if you play most games you'll poll OK," Naughton told AFL.com.au.

    "My exit meeting was alright, but I didnít know what to expect and how the procedure ran.

    "They were really positive after I played a few games in my first year as a key defender, so they were happy and want me to continue learning and grow my game.

    "They really instilled some confidence in me."

    While he's one of the AFL's most impressive young intercepting key defenders, Naughton, under Beveridge's flexibility mantra, also got the opportunity to show he can also be a marking option up forward.

    That versatility was evident when he took several contested marks and slotted two goals against North Melbourne in round nine, but as he begins preparations for his second season at the highest level, Naughton is expecting to be standing alongside Franklin in the Dogs' 2019 season opener against Sydney at Marvel Stadium.

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    Tough times don't last, tough people do

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  3. #2
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    Re: Young Dog primed for 2019

    Hasn't he settled in and responded well to life as an AFL footballer?

    Once he fixes his kicking a bit he's going to be a great player for us
    Tough times don't last, tough people do

  4. #3
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    Re: Young Dog primed for 2019

    Interesting he mention Lewis Young in the article. If he can hit some form to keep a senior spot it will be good.
    ďI am not a stranger to the dark
    Hide away, they say
    'Cause we don't want your broken parts
    I've learned to be ashamed of all my scars
    Run away, they say
    No one'll love you as you are
    But I won't let them break me down to dust
    I know that there's a place for us
    For we are glorious.Ē

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  6. #4
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    Re: Young Dog primed for 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Hotdog60 View Post
    Interesting he mention Lewis Young in the article. If he can hit some form to keep a senior spot it will be good.
    I hope Young realises that if he works hard during the off season there is a spot in the senior side for him. With his size and athleticism both he and Naughton could be key pillars for us for years to come.
    Tough times don't last, tough people do

  7. #5
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    Re: Young Dog primed for 2019

    A great first year in a difficult role.

    He can develop into an A grade player as he adds strength and fixes his skills.
    #bemorebulldog

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  8. #6
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    Re: Young Dog primed for 2019

    I wouldn't mind seeing him spend a bit of time with the forwards over the pre-season. I was pretty impressed with what he did in spurts up there. He's a massive talent.

  9. #7
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    Re: Young Dog primed for 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Hotdog60 View Post
    Interesting he mention Lewis Young in the article. If he can hit some form to keep a senior spot it will be good.
    Lewis Young doesn't turn 20 until December. We forget he's still a pup, he has plenty of time. I'm still not sure he's ready - still looks raw but promising. Excellent at intercepting but still needs to work on the one on one side of his game (based on the games I saw at VFL level).
    Western Bulldogs: 2016 Premiers

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