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  1. #1
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    Naughton ready for take off

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    Key forward Aaron Naughton admits it has been frustrating watching from the sidelines this year, as he looks to make up for lost time.

    The 20-year-old made a promising return against the Brisbane Lions last week, having missed the previous six games with an ankle injury.

    An interrupted pre-season, combined with the round four injury, have prevented Naughton from getting any continuity in his football in 2020.

    But he’s hoping he can now get a clear run for the rest of the year.

    In his first game in more than a month after being out with an ankle injury, Aaron Naughton takes a great grab

    “I actually pulled up pretty well, I was pretty happy with that,” Naughton told Channel 9 News at training this week.

    “It was obviously a little bit of a disappointing result, but personally for myself to get back out there and play footy again was nice.

    “The first final last year, doing my knee… and then the ankle after I’d just started playing some footy was a bit disappointing.

    “But I’ve been really diligent with my rehab to now be out there playing footy again and hopefully I can get a clean run from now.”

    The Bulldogs’ season sits in the balance with six games to go, with a 5-6 ledger leaving them in 11th spot on the ladder.

    Games against Adelaide and Melbourne over the next fortnight will be important – and Naughton is hoping it won’t take too long to get back to his high-flying best.

    “I’m hoping to get back to the footy I started to find before doing my ankle and hopefully that comes this week,” Naughton said.

    “That’s what I build my game on. I love that side of the game and I definitely haven’t lost any of that.

    “I’ll still be jumping in and crashing packs.”

    In Naughton’s absence – and combined with injuries to Sam Lloyd and Josh Schache – the Bulldogs’ forward line has taken on a very different look in 2020.

    Off-season recruit Josh Bruce has often being the only key target inside 50, with midfielder-turned-forward Mitch Wallis carrying extra responsibility.

    Structurally, the return of Naughton last week made a difference in the front half – even if he was just finding his feet again.

    Check out all the action from Wednesday's training session at the Gold Coast ahead of the Round 12 clash against Adelaide Crows.

    “As a key forward, you sort of ride that title a little bit with the importance you have for the team,” Naughton said.

    “It was difficult to sit on the sideline and watch.

    It was a bit frustrating, I’m one of those players that doesn’t really like watching my team play without being out there myself.

    “I’m just happy to be back and to play that role for the team.”
    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: Naughton ready for take off

    Had a relatively quiet game last weekend but my gosh it was good to see him take that contested mark and goal in the 4th quarter.

    He did take a couple of weeks to warm up again this year - just started looking dominant in the swans game and hurt himself.

    IÂ’ll be really pleased with just another step forward in impact again this week.

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    Re: Naughton ready for take off

    Go Astro! Turn our season around.

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    Re: Naughton ready for take off

    Quote Originally Posted by AshMac View Post
    Had a relatively quiet game last weekend but my gosh it was good to see him take that contested mark and goal in the 4th quarter.

    He did take a couple of weeks to warm up again this year - just started looking dominant in the swans game and hurt himself.

    IÂ’ll be really pleased with just another step forward in impact again this week.
    Would help if the Ump's paid him the free every time he was tackled to the ground behind play as he attempted to lead!

    Seriously, every side employs this tactic to stop his run-up yet the Umps will do nothing about it.

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    Re: Naughton ready for take off

    Quote Originally Posted by WBFC4FFC View Post
    Would help if the Ump's paid him the free every time he was tackled to the ground behind play as he attempted to lead!

    Seriously, every side employs this tactic to stop his run-up yet the Umps will do nothing about it.
    Drives me crazy. Can’t put a finger on Hipwood last weekend but Naughton can be held off leaping for the ball. You’re right it happens every week

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    Re: Naughton ready for take off

    Quote Originally Posted by WBFC4FFC View Post
    Would help if the Ump's paid him the free every time he was tackled to the ground behind play as he attempted to lead!

    Seriously, every side employs this tactic to stop his run-up yet the Umps will do nothing about it.
    Only a few years of weeping about it in the media will get a result.

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  12. #7
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    Re: Naughton ready for take off

    God he's so quick when the ball hits the ground. Quicker than our smalls.
    Western Bulldogs: 2016 Premiers

  13. #8
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    Re: Naughton ready for take off

    Quote Originally Posted by Mofra View Post
    God he's so quick when the ball hits the ground. Quicker than our smalls.
    Loved how he hunted down Kelly when he made that slight fumble. Was like a Lion taking down a wounded zebra.
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

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  15. #9
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    Re: Naughton ready for take off

    He’s our best pressure forward easily.
    Free Ferg

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    Re: Naughton ready for take off

    Best young forward in the comp

  17. #11
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    Re: Naughton ready for take off

    Its such a big lift for the team when a key position player run down tackles an opposition defender. I'm not sure why but it stands out a bit more. I remember Nick Riewoldt catching one of our small defenders one day and it just killed our momentum completely.

    The other defensive thing I love about Naughton is that closing speed he has to spoil the opposition rebound kick.

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  19. #12
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    Re: Naughton ready for take off

    To think this is only his 3rd year in the AFL and only 2nd year as a key forward.

    I'm not sure the afl media and general public realise he is only 7 months older than the King boys.
    They come after one,
    They come after all,
    They can't handle all,
    Lets go....

    Bob Murphy

  20. #13
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    Re: Naughton ready for take off

    Quote Originally Posted by azabob View Post
    To think this is only his 3rd year in the AFL and only 2nd year as a key forward.

    I'm not sure the afl media and general public realise he is only 7 months older than the King boys.
    I didn't realise either, he's a beauty.

    More performances like the weekend's and it might derail my NaughtonToDefence train for good.

    And who else is excited to see Naughton & Marra together over the next 10 years?
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

  21. #14
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    Re: Naughton ready for take off

    Quote Originally Posted by comrade View Post
    I didn't realise either, he's a beauty.

    More performances like the weekend's and it might derail my NaughtonToDefence train for good.

    And who else is excited to see Naughton & Marra together over the next 10 years?
    I remember going to watch us against the hawks early on in Franklins career. He did a couple of things that day including a great snap goal that made me think how lucky the hawks supporters were to be able to watch this kid develop. I get excited about Naughton up there taking big marks but to have Marra up there to might be too much excitement Comrade!

  22. #15
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    Re: Naughton ready for take off

    Quote Originally Posted by comrade View Post
    I didn't realise either, he's a beauty.

    More performances like the weekend's and it might derail my NaughtonToDefence train for good.

    And who else is excited to see Naughton & Marra together over the next 10 years?
    I was never on that train but never off it either due to our shortage of key defenders. I didn't see a single game of last season so all I could go off were stats. Well, after sundays game, I never want to see him in defence again. And he's an excellent defender. Wow.

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