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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Wherever the dogs are playing
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    ‘Red light flashing’: Why top Dog is ready to be Brownlow Bont


    The Western Bulldogs’ Rolls-Royce is back in mint condition and ready to fire on all cylinders after losing the sheen in a gruelling 2022.

    Buoyed by a summer where he has not missed a session, Dogs captain Marcus Bontempelli has declared he is back to 100 per cent fitness in a positive sign the favourite son of the west is ready to rediscover his superstar ways.

    Bontempelli is coming off a relatively lean campaign by his lofty standards, dogged by injuries from the third quarter of round one.

    An ankle injury in the season-opener was soon followed by a shoulder issue in round three, though it was not until June when coach Luke Beveridge revealed how hampered Bontempelli was by the AC problem.

    On the eve of his fourth year as the top Dog, Bontempelli revealed how injuries had limited him last year.

    “At different times you definitely feel more restricted,” Bontempelli told The Age. “That’s what it was at the end, when you didn’t have the full complement of your physical capability to do what you know you’re capable of doing.

    “I do feel like that’s our game. So often you have to be able to deal with things on the fly, manage things and get yourself going.”

    Time out would have given Bontempelli the chance to freshen up and quieten the aches but as captain he wanted to play on.

    “I couldn’t put my finger on one [injury],” Bontempelli said. “The red light was flashing at different points. With the F1 coming up, I could have done with an oil or tyre change at different points.

    “The couple of different things impacted my ability to move around the way I wanted to. I was always going to be out there as much as I could. It’s a new season, I’m feeling good, let the past be the past for now.”

    On top of the physical impediments, the strain of the Dogs playing catch-up also took its toll on Bontempelli. Grand finalists the year before, the Dogs won just three of their first eight games. They were in the eight for just four rounds, not booking their finals berth until the final day of the home and away season.

    The Dogs face a challenging start to the season with games against finalists Melbourne, Brisbane, Richmond and Fremantle in the first seven rounds.

    “There’s no doubt there was an aspect on our football that wasn’t going well enough too, so you’re dealing with a different type of fatigue, a mental and emotional fatigue at not being able to produce our best often enough and trying to work through that,” Bontempelli said.

    “They are marathons, football seasons, nowadays. We have an extra game, so it’s longer than ever. Trying to produce your best earlier gives you a chance to feel better throughout a season. That’s what I’m keen on, starting the season off really well in what will be a tough month and six weeks of games.”

    Just as Patrick Cripps rediscovered his best when fit again, similar is expected of Bontempelli, who has been tipped by two rival captains to add the Brownlow Medal to his already brimming trophy cabinet.

    “So far I feel really good, haven’t missed too much of pre-season, which I think is really crucial to you lasting the season,” Bontempelli said.

    “Sometimes you have to play catch-up because of surgery or other different reasons but for now, I’m feeling good, feeling confident and ready to rip into things.”
    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.

  2. Thanks josie, Bulldog4life thanked for this post
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Mount Martha, Victoria
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    Re: ‘Red light flashing’: Why top Dog is ready to be Brownlow Bont

    This is great news at the start of round one. We just so need a little luck this year as we now really do have the cattle to take it all the way.

    Looking forward - Naughton, Darcy and JUH. It will be the envy of everyone.

  4. Likes bornadog liked this post

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