Bulldogs growing

Pat McKenna (Jacob Pattison)334031_16

Tara Murray

A strong pre-season has been the instigator for Gisborne’s strong start to the Bendigo Football League season.

The Bulldogs sit 4-1 after six rounds, having had a bye on the weekend due to a split round.

Bulldogs coach Rob Waters said things were going along nicely.

“It’s not too bad at the moment,” he said. “The bye came at a good time with a few guys sick with the flu.

“We’re able to hit a bit of a reset ahead of the next four weeks before interleague.”

Waters said after a disastrous 2023 with results and injuries, this season all started in the pre-season.

The Bulldogs lost their first game of the season before winning the next four.

“Most of the boys have had a long pre-season,” he said. “Last year a lot didn’t have that and we had a couple of season ending injuries.

“It makes a huge difference.”

The Bulldogs focus on locals and youth is also continuing to pay off. The next generation has taken that next step.

Waters said Harry Luxmoore, Harry Thomas and Ryan Bourke are among some that have taken the next step.

“The young boys are doing well,” he said. “We’ve got a good team and we will keep playing them.

“Some are getting better each week and they are local boys and that is the club philosophy to get games into them.”

Waters said they had been able to get a couple of wins against some strong sides in recent weeks.

The tests keep coming after the bye, first up against Strathfieldsaye on Saturday.

“That is a big test for sure,” Waters said. “It’ll be good to see where we are at.

“We’ve had a couple of good wins in a row against sides that will likely be competing for the same spots as us.”

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs have had 11 players named in the initial interleague squad.

Waters said it was good recognition for the group.