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  1. #1
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    Midfield focus for Williams

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    Building his best pre-season to date, emerging Bulldog Bailey Williams is determined to make 2019 his year.

    The 21-year-old established himself at AFL level last year, settling into the Dogs’ defensive unit and playing a career-high 14 matches despite a late-season foot injury.

    He’s confident he can build his output this season after a strong training block.

    “I came back probably in the best nick I have,” Williams told westernbulldogs.com.au.

    “This is probably the best pre-season I’ve had so far (in my career).

    “Last year I had a foot injury in the last seven weeks, which was a bit frustrating, but before that I’d really cemented my spot as a defender. Then over my last three games I moved into the midfield, and I’ve tried to work on that in pre-season.”

    After getting a taste of playing in the midfield last season, Williams has transitioned to that role during the pre-season and is confident he can play a key role for the Dogs in 2019.

    He credits assistant coach Joel Corey, and teammates Mitch Wallis, Marcus Bontempelli, Josh Dunkley and Tom Liberatore as those who have helped him develop.

    “This whole pre-season I’ve spent 100 per cent of my time in the midfield, learning off blokes like ‘Wall’, ‘Bont’, ‘Dunks’ and ‘Libba’,” Williams said.

    “They’ve all been pretty good, and Joel Corey’s been helping me out with trying to learn the structures and the rotations at the centre bounce and all that stuff.

    “It’s just about finding the next level, and hopefully I can take my game there.

    “I just want to keep growing, keep developing my midfield knowledge and taking that to the next level. I feel like I can really have an impact this year and start to dominate a few games, which would be good.”

    Working on his fitness has been a big focus, and with the season just around the corner, match practice has taken centre stage in the Dogs’ training schedule.

    Williams believe the group is well-placed to hit the ground running in 2019.

    “Mooloolaba was a good stint of match-play, and as soon as the matches start rolling around you can see the competitive juices start to come out,” he said.

    “It’s exciting, especially with a healthy group and numbers out on the track.

    “There’s not many injuries, so everyone’s fighting for spots and it’s pretty challenging at the moment.”
    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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  3. #2
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    Re: Midfield focus for Williams

    I like this thread.
    I drank the slab that Bon Scott drunk
    I injected some of Hendrixs junk
    I booked a seat on Lynyrd Skynyrds plane
    Mama Cass's sandwich? Ate the same

  4. #3
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    Re: Midfield focus for Williams

    Looking forward to having another bull to rotate through the middle with Bont, Dunkely and Macrae and to go along with Liberatore, Wallis and McLean.
    He's possibly the most versatile player we have on the list.

    I really think he is primed for a big season.
    Tough times don't last, tough people do

  5. #4
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    Re: Midfield focus for Williams

    Jeez, if everyone stays fit we're going to be nigh on insurmountable through the guts.

    Look out if we can figure out how to pop the thing through the big sticks.
    Last edited by Rocket Science; 22-02-2019 at 05:20 PM.
    QUALITATIVE SHEEN

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  7. #5
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    Re: Midfield focus for Williams

    Another option with speed and a penetrating/damaging kick would be fantastic. Yes please

  8. #6
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    Re: Midfield focus for Williams

    Can we sign him up already?!?
    They come after one,
    They come after all,
    They can't handle all,
    Lets go....

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  9. #7
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    Re: Midfield focus for Williams

    Quote Originally Posted by azabob View Post
    Can we sign him up already?!?
    Good point, it's shaping as an important signature
    Tough times don't last, tough people do

  10. #8
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    Re: Midfield focus for Williams

    I've been on this kid for a while now. Watching him in the magoos a couple years ago in a final you see he was too good for that level. Fitness is key for him so it's great to hear that he's the fittest he has ever been. He's strong around the hips and legs which will help him if he's playing more mid this year. I would like to see him rest forward at times because he has a bit a knack of finding the big sticks at times.

    It's going to be an interesting year for us this year with the natural development and improvement of a few kids we have been nurturing for a few years.
    They've done studies you know, 60% of the time, it works every time!
    Brian Fantana.

  11. #9
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    Re: Midfield focus for Williams

    Quote Originally Posted by ratsmac View Post
    I've been on this kid for a while now. Watching him in the magoos a couple years ago in a final you see he was too good for that level. Fitness is key for him so it's great to hear that he's the fittest he has ever been. He's strong around the hips and legs which will help him if he's playing more mid this year. I would like to see him rest forward at times because he has a bit a knack of finding the big sticks at times.

    It's going to be an interesting year for us this year with the natural development and improvement of a few kids we have been nurturing for a few years.
    Every now and again a player takes a significant step forward and typically this happens when they also make a breakthrough with their fitness levels so it's very encouraging to hear Williams has had his best preseason.
    It's going to be interesting to see if we can find him enough time in the middle or if, as you pointed out, he spends some time forward.
    I mentioned earlier in the thread that he is possibly the most versatile player on our list and I can see him being used as the Mr Fix-it.
    Tough times don't last, tough people do

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  13. #10
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    Re: Midfield focus for Williams

    This young man is on the cusp of breaking out into the player I've always thought he could be. Seems to have composure and awareness now, which he lacked early on like most inexperienced kids. I think he will be a very good addition to the midfield group. Lovely kick, nice sidestep, can break tackles and can create a goal out of not much. By the way, saw Fergus Greene on local central Vic tv last night. He is a very impressive, well spoken, personable young man. Said he was now 75kg and having put on 10 kgs since the draft and is looking forward to the season. Both 21 year olds and 187cm but Bailey W weighs in at 85kg.
    If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

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  15. #11
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    Re: Midfield focus for Williams

    Quote Originally Posted by Torpedo View Post
    This young man is on the cusp of breaking out into the player I've always thought he could be. Seems to have composure and awareness now, which he lacked early on like most inexperienced kids. I think he will be a very good addition to the midfield group. Lovely kick, nice sidestep, can break tackles and can create a goal out of not much. By the way, saw Fergus Greene on local central Vic tv last night. He is a very impressive, well spoken, personable young man. Said he was now 75kg and having put on 10 kgs since the draft and is looking forward to the season. Both 21 year olds and 187cm but Bailey W weighs in at 85kg.
    I suspect that Williams wouldn't want to get a lot bigger whereas Greene could easily handle another 3kg.
    Williams was sensational as a defender so I hope the transition into the midfield is a smooth one for him and the club.
    Tough times don't last, tough people do

  16. #12
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    Re: Midfield focus for Williams

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    I suspect that Williams wouldn't want to get a lot bigger whereas Greene could easily handle another 3kg.
    Williams was sensational as a defender so I hope the transition into the midfield is a smooth one for him and the club.
    Yeah until injured last year he was putting together a terrific campaign

    With him, Dunkley, Lipinski (who quietly put together a very solid 2nd year) and Richards we have some seriously talented young midfielders - and thats before mentioning McLean who might well become a star of the competition in 2019

  17. #13
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    Re: Midfield focus for Williams

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    Every now and again a player takes a significant step forward and typically this happens when they also make a breakthrough with their fitness levels so it's very encouraging to hear Williams has had his best preseason.
    It's going to be interesting to see if we can find him enough time in the middle or if, as you pointed out, he spends some time forward.
    I mentioned earlier in the thread that he is possibly the most versatile player on our list and I can see him being used as the Mr Fix-it.
    As one of the games finest Coaches, Allan Jeans used to say, the game is won in the midfield. Williams displays all the qualities to not only complement a strong midfield, but to become a star in his own right. His penetrating kicks should provide more opportunities for our forward line. Our good defence makes it possible for us to move Williams further afield to add class to the likes of the Bont Liberatore and Dunkley together with a centreline that boasts Macrae Maclean and Hunter.

  18. #14
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    Re: Midfield focus for Williams

    Love reading these comments.

    I’m into Williams in a big way and agree his signature is one of the most important for us this year. I’m convinced the crows will go very hard for him. A mates mate (yep - reliable source) dated Williams mum and said they were super close - I actually remember reading a year or two ago that the club had supported him by flying his mum over from Adelaide regularly - so a big offer coupled with the lure of “going home” could be enticing.

    Would be great to see him experimented with in the fwd line or even as a wing. His agility and strength through the hips, coupled with his booming kick could be a lovely link through the ground. I love his aggression too.

    For me, last year was his breakout at AFL level. If he hadn’t been injured we’d be seeing much more hype about him. Another step up this year would be great.

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