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  1. #1
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    'Whatever you need': Diminutive Dog happy to take on all-rounder role

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    CALEB Daniel may be in his ninth year of AFL, but he's thriving in his new midfield challenge.

    Having made his name as a dead-eye rebounder coming out of defence, Daniel has been employed in a sweeping midfield role for much of the year, pushing out of the backline to hover in the back of packs, swooping on the loose footy.

    Daniel, who turns 27 on Friday, did not attend a single centre bounce in 2020 and 2022, and played just a handful of midfield games in 2021.

    While he returned to defence due to personnel issues in Saturday's 29-point win over Fremantle, Daniel has participated in centre bounces in 10 of his 15 games this year.

    "I've been spending a little more time in the midfield, which is nice. It's my ninth year now, and I'm still able to evolve and play my role for the team and get a kick here and there. It's been nice, and I'm enjoying learning a few different things," Daniel said.

    "We've got a really handy midfield, the guys are unbelievable in getting me out there and exposing me to different situations, so I've been stoked and loving my role.

    "This game, it's always going to throw up different challenges. You've got a new opposition every week, it's a challenge in itself. You don't try and count your stats, all you care about is the win column. So if I'm [playing my role] as well as I can, that's a positive for us."

    Coach Luke Beveridge brought up Daniel unprompted in his post-match press conference, praising the form of the leadership group member, whose changing role is demonstrated by a rise in his average inside 50s and a decrease in rebound 50s.

    "There's a bidding war each week on where Caleb Daniel plays, because he's such a great leader and such a great team man," Beveridge said.

    "We thought this week with the changes in our backline and losing some experience again, that we needed the stabilising figure, so we asked Caleb to play back again.

    "He's like 'yep, whatever you need'. He's been playing really influential footy as a midfielder, so he's having an outstanding year, Caleb, and I thought he was very good again this afternoon."

    "He's definitely now over-rated, if you want to publish that," he said with a grin.

    "No, he's having a super season. You know what you're going to get from him every day at the football club, he gives his whole heart into it. He's from that sort of family as well.

    "It's amazing to see him get a bit of recognition outside the four walls, but inside, he's one of our most valued teammates. We love him, and we love to see him keep on keeping on.

    "He's getting pretty old now, so hopefully he keeps those knees all right and we can get him round for a few more years."

    The Bulldogs now sit sixth, with percentage the only thing currently keeping them from fourth place.

    The toughest challenge of all awaits this weekend in Collingwood.

    "The sky's the limit. We're still growing, there are so many guys who are trying to strive and reach their full potential. It's been awesome to see them grow. We've got so much talent in the group, it's about putting it all together," Daniel said.

    "Our ball use has been a bit astray this year, so tidying that up leads to less scores against and more scores for. If you're able to do that, you're probably able to win a few more games.

    "So probably that little piece, and obviously you can always tidy defensive stuff up. We'll look at this trend and review, we bucked the trend of [losing off] the bye, so hopefully the momentum's going out way."
    FFC: Established 1883

    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: 'Whatever you need': Diminutive Dog happy to take on all-rounder role

    Just drivel. We know the LITTLE MAN gets EXPOSED week in, week out.
    "It's over. It's all over."

  4. #3
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    Re: 'Whatever you need': Diminutive Dog happy to take on all-rounder role

    The worst part of this article is that he is 27. How did our premiership guys grow older without me noticing. I’m bracing myself for the first pairing of the words Bontempelli and veteran…
    www.bulldogtragician.com A blog about being a lifelong fan of the Dogs and our quixotic attempt to replicate 1954. AND WE DID
    Author of "The Mighty West: the Bulldogs journey from daydream believers to premiership heroes"
    Twitter @bulldogstragic

  5. #4
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    Re: 'Whatever you need': Diminutive Dog happy to take on all-rounder role

    Quote Originally Posted by The bulldog tragician View Post
    The worst part of this article is that he is 27. How did our premiership guys grow older without me noticing. I’m bracing myself for the first pairing of the words Bontempelli and veteran…
    If it makes you feel any better, it was just yesterday that I had the same sentiment about Jack Collins and dad talking about his experiences on the first fleet.

  6. #5
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    Re: 'Whatever you need': Diminutive Dog happy to take on all-rounder role

    Quote Originally Posted by EasternWest View Post
    Just drivel. We know the LITTLE MAN gets EXPOSED week in, week out.
    Fair suck of the sav!
    I'll bite!
    BS.

  7. #6
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    Re: 'Whatever you need': Diminutive Dog happy to take on all-rounder role

    Quote Originally Posted by BornInDroopSt'54 View Post
    Fair suck of the sav!
    I'll bite!
    BS.
    Oh ha ha no I'm quoting Happy Days who sarcastically comments on what commentators etc say to be critical of Daniel.

    Which of course is either irrelevant or untrue because he's a jet.
    "It's over. It's all over."

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