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  1. #1
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    Daniel aiming high in 2019

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    Western Bulldogs runner Caleb Daniel has bounced back from post-season knee surgery and has set his sights on being a strong contributor in the JLT Community Series.

    The helmeted little man is also keen to further explore his growing versatility, given he made his name as a midfielder who spent time in attack, before impressing in defence in the final month of last season.

    Since making his AFL debut in mid-2015, Daniel has played 74 of a possible 81 games and, now entering his fifth AFL season, he plans to take his game to new heights.

    "I've been in the AFL system for a few years now and I think you can only improve every year," Daniel, 22, said at a media conference during the Bulldogs' training camp at Mooloolaba in Queensland.

    "I've had a little injury-interrupted pre-season (with) just a bit of knee surgery at the back end of last year, but I've come in and I'm going through now. To be fit and to be going towards JLT is really nice.

    "The knee is sweet all fine."

    Although the 2016 premiership player is determined to strengthen his position in the Bulldogs' line-up, he still remains uncertain what actual position he will be asked to play this season.

    Last year he played 20 games and averaged 21 disposals, including a terrific last four rounds in which he averaged 30 touches in a previously unfamiliar role as a half-back flanker.

    Perhaps complicating the issue is the Dogs' recruitment of Hawthorn premiership defender Taylor Duryea.

    In any case, Daniel insisted he would gladly perform any role set for him by coach Luke Beveridge.

    "I'm not too sure (where I'll play). That's one of the things that 'Bevo' really instils in you is to be a three-line player as much as you can. So it depends on where he wants me to play and where I'm playing my best football," Daniel said.

    "Last year up forward I probably wasn't playing my best footy and the move down back towards the back end of the year worked out for myself and the team.

    "I'm not too sure at the moment but I'm happy to play wherever."

    Daniel said he was learning to be smarter with his running, as well as working at being cleaner with his ball handling and disposal.

    He said ball use had been a focus for the entire playing group after the Bulldogs had missed the finals for the second successive season after winning the premiership.

    "I think there's a vast selection of things that we need to improve on. We didn't really use the footy too well last year, especially going inside 50 and around the arcs," he said.

    "The offense always starts from defence so we've got to tidy it up and tighten up a little bit through there."

    The Bulldogs are scheduled to play their first JLT Community Series game against Gold Coast in Mackay, Queensland, on Sunday, March 3, followed by a clash with St Kilda at Ballarat on Sunday, March 10.

    They will open the premiership season by hosting Sydney under lights at Marvel Stadium on Saturday, March 23.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  2. #2
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    Re: Daniel aiming high in 2019

    The suggestion is that Duryea will play and that there has been a focus on disposal which I hope includes goal kicking. Halleluyah to the latter and good luck to the former.
    Last edited by BornInDroopSt'54; 30-01-2019 at 02:51 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Daniel aiming high in 2019

    What concerns me in that article is Caleb doesn't know what position he will be playing.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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    Re: Daniel aiming high in 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    What concerns me in that article is Caleb doesn't know what position he will be playing.
    Smoke and mirrors for the opposition.

    I have it on good authority he's secretly training as first ruck.
    There are plenty of talented people in the world. As you already know, talent is not enough. Some of the athletes with the most potential never pan out. What separates the good from the great is determination and work ethic.

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  6. #5
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    Re: Daniel aiming high in 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    What concerns me in that article is Caleb doesn't know what position he will be playing.
    I think it's the price you happily pay to have the versatility that the coach wants. I suspect Daniel has a fair idea of where he will but he also knows things might quickly change. To me if Duryea is to be played as a defender then Daniel must play on the ball.
    Tough times don't last, tough people do
    "He'll accumulate and be involved, but we're looking a qualitative sheen on his game that we need, and it is part of our scope to score"

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    Re: Daniel aiming high in 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    I think it's the price you happily pay to have the versatility that the coach wants. I suspect Daniel has a fair idea of where he will but he also knows things might quickly change. To me if Duryea is to be played as a defender then Daniel must play on the ball.
    Ideally we'd want him playing wing/midfield region as a link man between the backline and forward line - if the season starts and he isnt getting involved enough then Id move him to where he can/is

  8. #7
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    Re: Daniel aiming high in 2019

    He was really really good in the back 6 last year after a pretty indifferent season otherwise, I'd be shocked if it wasn't something we persisted with.

    While DurYEAH was obviously recruited for a (some) reason, it's not like he's the sort of player that makes you say "oh shit we better clear the decks, we've got Taylor Duryea now". He's behind Daniel and Crozier on exposed form at a minimum.

  9. #8
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    Re: Daniel aiming high in 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    What concerns me in that article is Caleb doesn't know what position he will be playing.
    Ha ha name me one bloke who does ... said with tongue only slightly planted in cheek.

    So much depends on how well the game plans pans out and whether we can stay relatively healthy, but Daniel's such an effective distributor when in the mood I'd expect him to get thrown around more than most.
    QUALITATIVE SHEEN

  10. #9
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    Re: Daniel aiming high in 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Days View Post
    He was really really good in the back 6 last year after a pretty indifferent season otherwise, I'd be shocked if it wasn't something we persisted with.

    While DurYEAH was obviously recruited for a (some) reason, it's not like he's the sort of player that makes you say "oh shit we better clear the decks, we've got Taylor Duryea now". He's behind Daniel and Crozier on exposed form at a minimum.
    Agree. Duryea disposal is ordnary . There is a reason that hawks let go of these type of players: hartung , savage , Anderson etc ... Not sure why we recruited him honestly . Def who can play forward ????
    Last edited by macca; 06-02-2019 at 05:20 AM.

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    Re: Daniel aiming high in 2019

    No doubt Daniel has had a cracking start to the year with his disposal efficiency and creativity across half back.

    Do we continue to let him play there or do we move him to a wing position where he can use his creativity forward of the centre?

    Even though on field we probably require positional stability personally I’m inclined to take the risk and move him onto the wing on a permanent basis.
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    Re: Daniel aiming high in 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by azabob View Post
    No doubt Daniel has had a cracking start to the year with his disposal efficiency and creativity across half back.

    Do we continue to let him play there or do we move him to a wing position where he can use his creativity forward of the centre?

    Even though on field we probably require positional stability personally I’m inclined to take the risk and move him onto the wing on a permanent basis.
    Would love him delivering inside F50 as much as possible.

  13. #12
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    Re: Daniel aiming high in 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by azabob View Post
    No doubt Daniel has had a cracking start to the year with his disposal efficiency and creativity across half back.

    Do we continue to let him play there or do we move him to a wing position where he can use his creativity forward of the centre?

    Even though on field we probably require positional stability personally I’m inclined to take the risk and move him onto the wing on a permanent basis.
    In the highlight reel of his draft year, Ed Richards seemed to play almost the exact role. GVGjr would be able to confirm or deny it. I'd want a strategy not just for moving Daniel, but also for replacing him in a stable way going ahead.
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  14. #13
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    Re: Daniel aiming high in 2019

    If you look back at the highlights for 2016, a prominent feature in the first 3 finals was Daniel's creativity in the space between the CHB and the forward line. It was often Daniel using his vision to create space and spot up a target.

    I love his work and distribution from half back, I love his competitiveness. I really think though we would be more effective going forward if he was the one kicking into the forward line.

  15. #14
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    Re: Daniel aiming high in 2019

    I remember watching him in the under 18's championships and his work in the forward line was very impressive.

  16. #15
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    Re: Daniel aiming high in 2019

    I understand the logic but I would certainly not be in favour of moving a player in career best form and one of the few players we have that can be relied upon to accurately distribute the ball from defence.

    Most attacks start in defence and if you turn the ball over coming out you are almost guaranteed to be scored against. I feel that moving Caleb would be a net loss for the team. The role he currently plays is crucial to both our defence and attack and I doubt another player on the list can replicate what Daniel provides.

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