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  1. #1
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    No rush for prized pick: No timeframe set for Sam Darcy’s injury return

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    The Western Bulldogs’ top draft selection Sam Darcy continues to nurse a stress fracture in his foot, but Cody Weightman and Adam Treloar are nearing a full return as the Dogs eye a rare top-four finish on the ladder this season.

    The Bulldogs moved the ball slickly from end to end at training at the Whitten Oval on Monday, coming after midfielder Jack Macrae, praised for his selfless acts and high standards, was elevated to club vice-captain.

    The Bulldogs have unveiled a five-man leadership group for season 2022, with Macrae, who wants to sign a new contract and finish his career as a one-club player, not only leaping into the group but replacing Mitch Wallis as deputy to Marcus Bontempelli.

    Macrae has worked hard on improving his leadership, particularly outside of game day, and will sit alongside playmaker Caleb Daniel, the hard-nosed Taylor Duryea, key forward Aaron Naughton and Bontempelli in the leadership group.

    While his teammates took part in full or half-ground drills, including two groups of match simulation when the field was divided into two, Darcy could only watch on.

    The No.2 overall selection in last year’s November draft, the father-son forward-ruckman appeared desperately keen to join in but had to stand idly, even when Treloar and Duryea were among a small group running laps away from the main group.

    Macrae, a three-time All-Australian, said there was no rush for Darcy to return, even if it meant he did not play for several months.

    “There is no rush on it, and he has the right appetite for what he has brought. Injuries are a part of footy ... he has missed a lot of footy through COVID as well. Everyone forgets, probably the under-18 program has been compromised out of all of them,” Macrae said.

    Weightman is on the mend after foot surgery in October but he and Treloar did take part in end-to-end drills late at training. Treloar, who has a history of hamstring and soft-tissue issues, is being managed but is not nursing any injury.

    “I think they are pretty close to being back into full training in the next week or two,” Bontempelli said.

    Daniel is off-contract at season’s end and Bontempelli hopes his leadership-group status encourages him to remain at the club.

    Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, the No.1 pick of the 2020 national draft, has put on muscle and was another in excellent touch, while Bailey Smith, a social media favourite, was in mint condition. Smith had stepped away from the club briefly before Christmas because of mental health reasons.

    “It’s about support. He is dealing with some different circumstances, a greater level of attention than either of us have received. He sort of transcended the football-player reputation, image, and he does receive a lot of attention,” Bontempelli said.

    Coach Luke Beveridge said Bontempelli, the four-time Charles Sutton medallist, continued to be the standout leader in a year when the Bulldogs are seeking grand final retribution.

    “Marcus has developed into a fine leader of our football club, and we’ve seen him rise to another level with the captaincy. He will continue to lead us into the future,” Beveridge said.

    Bontempelli said he had watched a replay of last year’s grand final loss to the Demons, and understood the Bulldogs “probably needed to react better in some situations ... and make some moves”, particularly in the third quarter.

    Macrae, while having appeared in two grand finals, including a premiership, said he wanted the Bulldogs to finish top four after the home-and-away campaign, something they have not done in his nine seasons.

    Mitch Wallis has relinquished the vice-captaincy and will focus more on regaining his spot in the side, having had a frustrating 2021 when he managed only six senior matches and was overlooked for the finals. He signed a one-year ]contract to remain at the club.
    FFC: Established 1877

    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: No rush for prized pick: No timeframe set for Sam Darcy’s injury return

    Bontempelli said he had watched a replay of last year’s grand final loss to the Demons, and understood the Bulldogs “probably needed to react better in some situations ... and make some moves”, particularly in the third quarter
    He's a braver man than I, but it's good to read that.
    Retired from match day thread - Sep 2021

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  5. #3
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    Re: No rush for prized pick: No timeframe set for Sam Darcy’s injury return

    No rush. I'd hate to Josh Fraser the kid, especially after two years of interruptions.
    Western Bulldogs: 2016 Premiers

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    Re: No rush for prized pick: No timeframe set for Sam Darcy’s injury return

    Quote Originally Posted by Mofra View Post
    No rush. I'd hate to Josh Fraser the kid, especially after two years of interruptions.
    Do you reckon Tim English is suffering from the Josh Frasers?
    #BeMoreBulldog

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    Re: No rush for prized pick: No timeframe set for Sam Darcy’s injury return

    Quote Originally Posted by azabob View Post
    Do you reckon Tim English is suffering from the Josh Frasers?
    No. Tim has been comparatively healthy bodywise. He just needs to keep strengthening and learning the craft.

  9. #6
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    Re: No rush for prized pick: No timeframe set for Sam Darcy’s injury return

    Quote Originally Posted by azabob View Post
    Do you reckon Tim English is suffering from the Josh Frasers?
    Timmy's spent a bit of time forward and hasn't been playing through serious injury so I sure hope not. Josh Fraser was a gun from very early in his career and Timmy's yet to maintain any consistency.

    Of course, Fraser was a gun junior ruck too while Timmy was thrown into the ruck after a growth spurt at 16 so was more a 'potential' pick than one based off a solid body of work.
    Western Bulldogs: 2016 Premiers

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  11. #7
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    Re: No rush for prized pick: No timeframe set for Sam Darcy’s injury return

    Quote Originally Posted by azabob View Post
    Do you reckon Tim English is suffering from the Josh Frasers?
    Tim had a very different first year or two to Fraser.
    Josh was thrown into the ruck way too early.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

  12. #8
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    Re: No rush for prized pick: No timeframe set for Sam Darcy’s injury return

    Quote Originally Posted by Mofra View Post
    Timmy's spent a bit of time forward and hasn't been playing through serious injury so I sure hope not. Josh Fraser was a gun from very early in his career and Timmy's yet to maintain any consistency.

    Of course, Fraser was a gun junior ruck too while Timmy was thrown into the ruck after a growth spurt at 16 so was more a 'potential' pick than one based off a solid body of work.
    I can recall going to a game prior to Fraser being drafted. He ran flat out like a half forward flanker and scooped the ball off the ground before delivering a laces out pass.
    Fraser should have been groomed as a CHB.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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